Five Great Films From One of the Most Talented Actors of Our Time

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile, dedicated and talented actors of our time.  He has been in a wide variety of movies, from epic crime dramas like Donnie Brasco to animated children’s films like Rango.  His fans celebrate his entire catalogue and eagerly await his next move.  Let’s look at five at his best films to date:

Pirate’s of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow

This is the first of the POTC series and arguably the best.  Although this film was cast with many great actors and actresses (such as Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley), Depp’s character “Jack Sparrow” definitely stole the show.  He played the quirky, daring, effeminate pirate so well that it seemed weirdly natural.  Apparently, Depp based his character entirely on The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.  If you didn’t want to party with him before, you do now!


This film is about a young man turned drug dealer who gradually entrenches himself in the world of narcotics smuggling.  Starting with small time marijuana deals, he eventually ends up at the top of a massive cocaine trafficking operation.  This film follows several decades of his life, and Depp does an amazing job portraying the mental, physical and emotional toll that his lifestyle takes on him.  Enduring a crazy wife played by Penelope Cruz, hardcore cocaine addiction and withdrawl, violence and brushes with the law, Depp’s character grow and changes in complex and saddening ways.  This film is a must-see for any Johnny Depp fan.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

This 1993 film starring Depp alongside Leonardo DiCaprio is one of his first big movies.  Depp plays the main character, Gilbert, who lives in a small town and looks after his special needs brother and hopelessly obese mother.  In the aftermath of his father’s suicide, he is basically forced to raise his siblings, as his mother can’t even get out of bed.  This movie is very well done, and it is at times hard to watch.  Depp portrays the full spectrum of human emotion, from love to rage, making this movie one of his best.

Edward Scissorhands

Tim Burton, a man known for his dark, strangely humorous films, directed this 1990 fantasy about an artificial man named Edward who has scissors for hands.  He falls in love with a teenage girl named Kim after being taken in by her parents and proceeds to both awe and frighten the members of the surrounding community.  This is truly a classic Tim Burton film.  It’s very weird and uncomfortable at times, but it is a classic movie that everyone should see.  Since its success, Depp and Burton have worked together on many other projects.

Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas

This movie was adapted from a quasi-autobiographical novel by Hunter S. Thompson about a writer and his lawyer’s drug-riddled journey through Las Vegas in the early 1970s.  Depp plays the eccentric, constantly tripping writer who partners with his crazy lawyer (Benicio del Toro) to cover a story about the American Dream.  Together, they slip ever further into a drug-induced haze, ultimately losing their grip on reality in a hotel room.  Depp plays this character so well that you’d think he was actually on drugs during the filming.  He seems very natural in the role, which makes you wonder about his own personal experience.  This movie (and book) is very entertaining and contains some valuable insight into the 1970s American culture.