Arguably the most versatile actor of all time, Johnny Depp is a name familiar and loved by every moviegoer today. Known for “larger-than-life” roles with the ability to leave the audience mystified, the Hollywood A-lister is undoubtedly one of the best actors alive today and his box office successes justify it. Take a look at the 17 best Johnny Depp movies of all time:
17. Alice in Wonderland (2010)
The famous tale by Lewis Carroll is well-known and has been countlessly told and retold from one generation to another by means of several media adaptions. The story got another kick start as director Tim Burton and his frequent collaborator Johnny Depp shook things up with Alice in Wonderland.
With the result being one of the highest-grossing fantasy movies of all time, it was a thrill to see Depp as the eccentric Mad Hatter and the fans would not have it any other way. On an interesting note, the actor reprises his role for the sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass aimed to release this year.
16. The Lone Ranger (2013)
The action western film starred Armie Hammer as lawyer-turned-ranger John Reid but all eyes were on Johnny Depp as Comanche Native American Tonto, who stole the entire spotlight. That says a lot about the actor’s credibility.
Revolving around greed, power, and heroic antics, The Lone Ranger is truly an underrated movie and it is a shame that it failed to get the recognition it deserved but still, it is one hell of an action western flick.
15. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Based on the novel of the same name and a remake of the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder, Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the perfect retelling of the classic story penned by Roald Dahl and the movie received positive reviews.
The same could be said about Johnny Depp of course as his performance of the lovable chocolatiers Willy Wonka was the tip of the iceberg. However, Wilder – the man behind Wonka character from the original film – was dissatisfied with the movie and called it “an insult”.
14. Black Mass (2015)
As one of the most feared criminals of his generation, Whitey Bulger was an organized crime mogul and the head of the Boston Irish Mob crew called the Winter Hill Gang. When a biopic was planned, Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp was the right man for the job.
13. Public Enemies (2009)
Surely not the first bad guy the talented actor has portrayed but Depp once again proves by his acting abilities that it is perfectly fine to root for the bad guy in the movie.
12. Rango (2011)
As the only animated movie on the entire list, it would be an injustice to ignore action comedy western film Rango. Though Johnny Depp has done a few voice roles throughout his career, Rango is definitely the best one out there to the point of winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
After accidentally entering the town of Dirt, Rango the chameleon masquerades as a tough drifter and eventually becomes the sheriff only to realize how dangerous his job would be while facing Rattlesnake Jake.
11. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Following a series of murders by the mysterious Headless Horseman, Depp as New York police constable Ichabod Crane must investigate them and put a stop to the madness.
10. Chocolat (2000)
When Vianne Rocher and her daughter Victoire Thivisol move into the French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to open a chocolate shop, things only get complicated when Roux – portrayed by Johnny Depp enters their lives.
9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Perhaps the best example of the displaying versatility the actor is best known for, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a masterpiece of the acclaimed actor-director duo of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton.
As a combination of a barber and a singer, Depp was absolutely mesmerizing with his role of Benjamin Baker aka Sweeny Todd, and even earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor while the movie was nominated for two more, and winning one for Best Art Direction.
8. Blow (2001)
The cocaine trade remains one of the most ground-shaking smuggling crimes in the United States of America and George Jung was the mastermind behind the entire scheme. Surely the life of the smuggler seems interesting enough to be documented in a movie.
As a matter of fact, a biopic based on the smuggling adventures and arrest of Boston George was made, and to top it all off, the leading man was none other than Johnny Depp.
7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
The black comedy movie is proof of how dedicated Johnny Depp can be when it comes to pulling off a convincing performance. With all honesty, the actor was obsessed with his character of Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Based on the novel of the same name, author Hunter S. Thompson firmly believed that no actor besides Depp could play the role. Believe it or not, Depp moved into the basement of Thompson’s Owl Farm home for four months to research and observe Thompson’s mannerisms in order to prepare for the movie.
6. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Even in his earliest movies, Johnny Depp showed great potential as far as acting was concerned as he was determined to prove that he definitely belonged in the movie industry.
5. Donnie Brasco (1997)
It is always a treat to see two great actors of different generations sharing screens as co-stars and that is where Johnny Depp and Al Pacino come in. The latter loves to play mafia guys as he once again plays a notorious gangster in Donnie Brasco.
The epic crime drama film based on a true story and surely the best Depp mafia movies ever. Revolving around FBI undercover agent Joseph D. Pistone, it is up to him to infiltrate the Mafia Bonanno crime family under the alias of “The Jewel Man” Donnie Brasco but his emotions get the best of him when he steadily becomes friends with Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero the very man he intended to capture.
4. Finding Neverland (2004)
One could only imagine what was going through the creative mind of Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie while coming up with one of the most well-known fantasy characters of its time: Peter Pan.
Director Marc Forster gives the world a glimpse of those thoughts with Finding Neverland starring Johnny Depp as the famous novelist. Nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Actor for Depp, the movie won one for Best Original Score.
3. Ed Wood (1994)
The legend of cult filmmaker Ed Wood was brought to life as Johnny Depp starred in the biopic of the same name. Unlike several other movies of the actor, Depp did not wear any costume nor used any fancy makeup. Instead, he was just an ordinary man yet making it look so extraordinary.
Though the movie is quite forgettable due to the poor performance at the box office, Ed Wood received positive reviews from critics alike. If anything, the movie proved that Depp can do serious roles with sheer magnetism when required.
2. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
While still a rookie in Hollywood, Johnny Depp was offered his first major lead role by none other than Tim Burton. Not only they came up with a great movie but they loved each other’s company and that was just the start of one of the greatest actor-director partnerships of all time.
As an artificial man with a creepy appearance but a heart of gold, Depp stars as Edward Scissorhands. The name could not have been anymore suitable as the character tries to live his life by knowing how dangerous he could be due to having scissors instead of hands.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)
Responsible for making Captain Jack Sparrow a household name, Johnny Depp surely outdid himself by becoming the leading star of critically acclaimed Pirates of the Caribbean. In fact, the first installment Curse of the Black Pearl earned Depp his very first Academy Award nomination.
As one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time, Pirates of the Caribbean never gets old. With four parts and another one set to be released next year, there is no question that the franchise incorporates the best performance by Depp onscreen.
Hope you like our list of the best Johnny Depp movies of all time. Feel free to share your views in the comments below!