It’s been over 16 years since Adrien Brody picked up the Academy Award for Best Actor, becoming the youngest actor to ever win the prestigious title. The most incredible thing about his win is that the actor wasn’t even up to thirty years old when he walked away with the award. Such was the extent of Brody’s acting depth and brilliance. He is one of the finest actors to ever appear on the screen and he is highly regarded for the honesty, vulnerability, and dedication that he always pours into every role he is assigned to play. Adrien Brody is a versatile actor who has embodied a variety of characters over the course of his distinguished career – from a villain we absolutely love to hate to a hero we cannot help but root for. While the actor has an extensive acting resume, here are the 10 best Adrien Brody movies in which he has delivered some of his most cherished performances.
Adrien Brody Movies
10. Predators (2010)
As far as Hollywood blockbusters go, Predators is at the top of the action food chain. The movie’s storyline revolves around a coterie of mercenaries comprised of convicts, death row inmates, and cold-blooded assassins who find themselves abandoned on a strange planet where they are hunted down by an enemy they do not know. Terror is a living thing in Predators and it makes itself known in almost every scene. The action is so fast-paced that if you take your eyes away from the screen for a moment, somebody might end up dead.
Brody delivers a spine-tingling performance as the leader of this dangerous group of warriors who must fight to the death to survive. The chase and battle scenes are some of the finest that has ever been seen on screen.
9. Love the Hard Way (2001)
This gripping tale of the complicated nature of love and romance stars Adrien Brody as an unrepentant womanizer and con man named Jack Grace. While he acts like a tough guy without a heart in public, he is secretly a sweet and sensitive soul who likes to write. He usually hides away in locked storage units to work on his novel. However, things go sideways when he meets a gorgeous and intelligent college student named Claire who threatens to break down his external shell.
The more Jack hides his good side, the more Claire tries to access the darkness in thinking it’s the only way she can become a part of his world. Love the Hard Way reminds viewers how messy and wonderful love can be and it’s one of the 10 best Adrien Brody movies you should definitely watch.
8. The Brothers Bloom (2008)
Mark Ruffalo and Adrien Brody star side by side as the titular characters and both are dazzling to watch as they charm and blaze their way through the script. From their childhood days, they began tricking people and have now built a career out of selling dreams to wealthy people as adults. Although they are the best con men in the world, they soon begin to grow increasingly dissatisfied with this life and decide to pull off one final grand con before walking away forever.
Their last target is a beautiful and incredibly rich heiress whom they intend to take on the romantic adventure of a lifetime before making away with her money, but there are a lot of surprises along the way.
7. Detachment (2011)
This is probably Adrien Brody’s most underrated movie and the actor agrees with this assessment. The reason Detachment didn’t get all the hype it deserves was because it wasn’t able to run adequate promotional campaigns due to its limited budget. Regardless, Brody is an absolute vision in his role as a substitute teacher.
It’s an undeniably powerful movie that throws light on the failings of the education system as well as people and families in general. From the directing to cinematography and the tremendous performances by most of the cast members, Detachment is a movie that you can’t help coming back to.
6. The Jacket (2005)
With Brody, Daniel Craig, and Keira Knightley in lead, you already have an idea of just how incredible this movie is going to be. The storyline is fresh, albeit a tad unusual as it manages to touch on subjects like mental health, romance, psychological experiments, war, time travel, and amnesia, all in a span of two hours.
Brody’s character Jack Starks is the most compelling of the lot. He is a war veteran who is plagued by mental health issues that soon finds him facing a murder charge and being locked up in a psychiatric ward where things get really really interesting. The Jacket shows his chops as an excellent method actor which is why it belongs on this list of 10 best Adrian Brody movies.
5. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
Wes Anderson is at the helm of affairs on this movie and he brings his excellent directorial eye for details in this tragic family drama. The Darjeeling Limited follows three brothers who decide to go on a trip to India to work through their emotions one year after their father passes away. Despite the heavy issues at the center of this film, Wes Anderson still manages to work his trademark humor into it.
Interestingly, Brody’s character, Peter Whitman was written specifically for him and he embodies the role with a brilliance that’s hard to match. Even when he’s not speaking, he is able to convey a wide variety of emotions with his face. It’s the perfect movie to help you ease your way through Brody’s extensive filmography.
4. Midnight in Paris (2011)
This entry is a romantic comedy chronicling the journey of a family as they make their way through the dreamy city of Paris. They are soon forced to grapple with the thrilling and terrifying possibility that there are better loves other than the one they are living.
Adrien Brody delivers a scene-stealing performance as Salvador Dali, an eccentric and gifted artist whose genius makes him something of a mad man. Although his appearance in the movie lasts about three minutes, it has become one of the most iconic movie sequences of all time. The scene has gone on to inspire thousands of memes and GIFs over the years. The real Salvador Dali must have been completely mesmerized as we were while watching Brody’s portrayal of his character. For his performance alone, Midnight in Paris has been canonized as one of the 10 best Adrien Brody movies of all time.
3. The Village (2004)
The Village has everything going for it: cinematography, acting, storyline, and character development. Adrien Brody plays a simple, willful, and naive young man who is determined to achieve some of his heart’s desires despite the odds stacked aggressively against him.
When he finds himself in love with the same woman as another man in the village, he begins concocting a sinister plan to get rid of his competition. He soon brutally assaults a man, setting off a chain of terrifying events that threatens to swallow the village. His character also knows a terrible secret about a group of men in cloaks and hoods who meet on the edge of town where they hatch dangerous plans.
The Village will send chills down your spine as it spins and unravels an emotionally moving tale of conspiracy and darkness.
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
One of the most iconic films ever made, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a must-see Adrien Brody movie. It’s a story about a concierge at one of Europe’s most reputable hotels and his turbulent friendship with an employee who eventually becomes his protege. The movie walks us through the embittered struggle for a family’s fortune, the theft of a prized Renaissance painting, and the many upheavals that rocked Europe for half of the 20th century.
With Wes Anderson as the director, dark humor is prevalent throughout the movie. It is uniquely satisfying to watch Brody play a villain and he is constantly toying with the viewer’s emotions for the duration of the film. You want to hate him, but you really love him, so you hate the extent of your love for him instead. The Grand Budapest Hotel is truly wonderful in every way.
1. The Pianist (2002)
It’s only fair to rank The Pianist as number one on any list of the best Adrien Brody movies considering it was the film that won him an Oscar for Best Actor. It is the actor’s most acclaimed role to date. The actor’s performance and the film itself are both flawless.
The Pianist is based on real events as told by Wladyslaw Szpilman, in his biography. It tells the miraculous and sobering story of a Jewish-Polish pianist in the middle of World War II who has to hide to stay alive after having lost everything in his life that he holds dear. This magical picture is directed by Roman Polanski. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for tissues as Adrien Brody unleashes the full force of his talent on screen.