Summer-blockbuster season is kicking into gear with the recent release of Jurassic World: Dominion and Thor: Love and Thunder in July. Along with those big crowd-pleasers, the Martin Scorsese project Killers Of The Flower Moon, starring Leonardo DiCaprio is coming out in November, and in 2023 Gary Oldman, along with Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr. will lead Oppenheimer.
These are films that will go as far as their casts will carry with them, and according to Ranker, have some of the 10 best working male actors today.
Note: Ranker lists are live and continue to accrue votes, so some rankings may have changed after this publishing.
10 Hugh Jackman
The Australian actor is most well known for playing Wolverine in the X-Men movie series. But he is also an accomplished stage performer and is an actor who also regularly stars on broadway.
Many see Hugh Jackman and think “action hero” and while he played his fair share of action roles besides Wolverine, his musical work is where he has found the most acclaim. He won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for his leading role in The Miseries, and received Tony and Grammy awards for The Boy from Oz and The Greatest Showman respectively.
9 Robert De Niro
The 78-year-old De Niro has been a fixture of American films since he broke out in 1973’s Mean Streets, beginning his famous collaboration with director Martin Scorsese.
Robert De Niro is the most well-known for his movies in the 70s to 90s. In that time frame, he was nominated for five Best Actor Oscars, taking home the award for Raging Bull in 1980. He is widely considered one of the best actors of his generation, and his ability to transform himself for any role is legendary.
8 Gary Oldman
The only English actor on this list, Gary Oldman is renowned for his versatility. His ability to inhabit all types of roles, from villains to down-and-out heroes has made him one of the most prolific British actors working today.
While not a traditional “leading man” Oldman has shown the ability to reach that gear. In 2017 he transformed himself to play Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour, one of Oldman’s greatest roles. His Academy Award-winning performance was made even more impressive by the lengths he went to complete the role; over 200 total hours in the makeup chair, along with wearing 14 pounds of silicone rubber helped complete the transformation.
7 Samuel L. Jackson
Easily the most prolific actor on the list, the 73-year-old Jackson has appeared in over 150 films and is one of the highest-grossing actors of all time.
Before he played Nick Fury in over 11 Marvel movies, Jackson was most well-known for his collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino, including the movies Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Django Unchainedand The Hateful Eight. His monologue in Pulp Fiction is one of the most famous of the 90s and was a big reason why he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
6 Brad Pitt
One of the few actors to transition from heartthrob to serious actor, Brad Pitt is one of the most famous actors in the world and starred in some of the highest-grossing movies of the 2000s.
Pitt was a well-known actor in 1999, but not quite considered a leading man. That all changed in 1999, with its magnetic performance in Fight Club. That kicked off a run of 2000’s films such as Troy, and the Ocean’s movies that cemented him as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. And in 2019 Pitt won his first Academy Award for his supporting role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
5 Denzel Washington
A veteran of stage and screen, Denzel Washington is one of our most accomplished actors, and stands in rarified air as one of only seven actors to be nominated for an Academy Award in five different decades.
Washington’s range is something to behold, his ability to be funny, cruel, and charming all at once truly sets him apart. Washington’s role in Training Day is a perfect example of the peak of his powers and earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor. His movie adaptations of plays have also been a showcase for Washington, who shines in leading roles in Fences and The Tragedy of Macbeth.
4 Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. started acting at the age of five in his father’s movie, Pound. Since then he has had a rollercoaster of a career, going from teen-movie star to nearly ending his acting career with drugs and alcohol, to playing fan-favorite Iron Man in the MCU.
While Downey Jr. won the hearts of millions with his charming, witty Tony Stark, some of his earlier roles deserve just as much praise. He is magnetic in David Fincher’s Zodiac and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 1992 for the film Chaplin. Along with appearing in 10 MCU movies, he earned a Golden Globe as Sherlock Holmes in the eponymous 2009 Guy Richie movie.
3 Johnny Depp
Depp’s breakout came in the late 1980s for his role in the series 21 Jump Street. This propelled him into a teenage idol, and by the mid-2000s was one of the most successful actors in Hollywood.
Along with his world-famous role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, his collaborations with director Tim Burton have been well received. Depp earned a Best Actor nomination in 2007 for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. His other Burton movies, Edward Scissorhandsand Ed Wood were also critical darlings.
2 Morgan Freeman
Freeman has perhaps the most recognizable voice in Hollywood, and over his five decades of acting for has earned a reputation as a giving actor, who creates room for others to flourish.
Morgan Freeman is more than just a deep, comforting voice. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards and took home Best Supporting Actor in 2004 for his role in Million Dollar Baby. Along with his sterling acting career, his voiceover work is second to none, he has played the voice of God in multiple movies and is the voice behind some of the best documentaries.
1 Leonardo DiCaprio
Widely considered the actor of his generation, Leonardo DiCaprio has cemented his place in history as one of the greatest actors ever, perfectly moving from heartthrob to “mature” actor.
DiCaprio earned his first Academy Award nomination at the tender age of 19 for his role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? His work in biopics is some of his strongest, easily melding into different time periods, as well as playing real people. DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese’s collaborations have produced some of his best films, including The Wolf of Wall Street and, The Departed.
Next: 10 Actors Who Have Never Made A Sequel
10 Best Modern Movies That Are Over 2 And A Half Hours Long, According To Letterboxd