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Top 5 Philip Seymour Hoffman Movies

Top 5 Philip Seymour Hoffman Movies

Top 5 Philip Seymour Hoffman Movies
February 02
15:56 2014

Preston Barta / Film Critic

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead this morning at age 46 of an apparent heroin overdose in his Manhattan apartment, sources said.

Last seen on screen in last year’s mega blockbuster, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” Hoffman was easily one of the most gifted actors working in Hollywood. He was effortlessly charismatic and always chose excellent roles.

His career was a mix between small, supporting roles in films like Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” (1997), to artistic independent films (“Synecdoche, New York,” 2008), to Award-winning films (“Capote,” 2005) and mainstream blockbuster successes, such as “Mission: Impossible 3” (2006) and “Twister” (1996).

His career was relatively short. He first appeared in a 1991 episode of “Law & Order.” Over the past 20 years, Hoffman was recognized as one of acting’s greatest talents. His death is a devastating loss to the film and theater world, and there’s no understating his immense abilities and importance to his colleagues and friends.

Here, we look at five of his most memorable roles.

1. “The Master” (2012)

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and loosely based on the foundation of Scientology, Hoffman played a compelling intellectual named Lancaster Dodd, who recruits an alcoholic Navy veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) and pioneers a faith-based organization called “The Cause.”

Hoffman brought such intensity and command to the role that it granted him his fourth Oscar nomination. The film also had one of the most memorable scenes in movie history, where he took Phoenix’s character through a vociferous process on a boat. His strange but engaging relationship with Phoenix’s character made “The Master” an unforgettable experience.

2. “Capote” (2005)

In the film that awarded him Best Actor at the 2006 Academy Awards, Hoffman was completely unrecognizable in Bennett Miller’s Truman Capote biopic, “Capote.” His voice and mannerisms showed just how method he was when approaching performances. Even if the film itself was pretty standard as far as biopics go, Hoffman succeeded in holding the attention of many filmgoers and critics.

3. “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (2007)

This is probably the one film on this list that you have probably never heard of, but it’s one that you should seek out. About two brothers (Ethan Hawke and Hoffman) who organize the robbery of their parents’ jewelry store, Hoffman’s performance in “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” was electrifying. Like he also exhibited in “Mission: Impossible 3,” Hoffman was quite simply one of most chilling, yet believable villains on screen.

4. “Doubt” (2008)

“Doubt” is a very ambiguous film by nature, and much of its ambiguity comes from Hoffman’s character. The film revolves around his character, Father Brendan Flynn, and what he may or may not have done with a troubled young student at a Catholic school. Hoffman managed to create a character so complex that you’ll believe him one minute and doubt him the next— hence the very apt title.

5. “Along Came Polly” (2004)

Just when audiences were thinking that Hoffman only tackled dramatic roles, he showed up in “Along Came Polly.” This romantic comedy, about a man (Ben Stiller) whose life falls into chaos when he falls in love with an old classmate (Jennifer Aniston), was a mess of a film, but even with all its toilet humor, it still managed to generate a handful of laughs, especially from Hoffman’s character. His Sandy Lyle, “sharts” and all, was very likable and stole the show.

Honorable mentions:
“Magnolia” (1999), “Almost Famous” (2000), “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007), “Synecdoche, New York” (2008) and “Moneyball” (2011).

Hoffman can be seen next in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” (Nov. 21) and the Sundance Film Festival selected “God’s Pocket” and “A Most Wanted Men,” which are due out later this year.

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