7. Telstar: The Joe Meek Story (2008)
This movie has been adapted from the play Telstar by Nick Moran and James Hick. It is a story about Joe Meek, the record producer who was musically illiterate and also tone deaf but had a knack for producing and was obsessed with music.
Spacey plays the peculiar business manager of Meek and spots a remarkable upper class English accent. He surely adds quality to the entire movie with his brilliant performance.
6. Recount (2008)
This movie is the dramatization of presidential election of 2000 where Al Gore accepts Bush as president but renounces upon learning about the irregularities of vote count in Florida. Democratic strategists are raced to Florida for uncovering the truth, along with the Republicans. This movie was highly praised, especially the performance of Spacey.
His performance and dialog looked so natural that it felt more like a documentary. He earned a series of award nominations, including a Golden Globe nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television, Primetime Emmy nominee for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.
5. Swimming with Sharks (1994)
This incredible movie is about a naïve and young studio assistant in Hollywood who eventually turns tables on his abusive boss. The story highlighted the theme of office bullying and discontentment at work places, which is a theme that has been highlighted countless of times before and after this movie but there are rather few movies that are brilliantly done than this one.
This movie is undoubtedly Spacey’s through and through. His performance as the abusive boss is so realistic, you will end up hating him with all your guts. He earned a number of award nominations and high praise from the critics.
4. Se7en (1995)
One of the most chilling thriller serial killer movie ever made, Se7en includes outstanding performances by the Freeman, Pitt and particularly Spacey. He played the villain with the right amount of menace without going over the top. Even though, his screen time is far less that Freeman and Pitt, he still managed to outshine them with his memorable and disturbing performance.
He earned a number of nominees, including ACCA nominee for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and won the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain. This movie grossed more than $327 million globally and was the seventh highest grossing movie of that year. Critics highly praised the performances as well as the brutal and dark theme of the movie.
3. American Beauty (1999)
Lester Burnham, Spacey’s character, was truly wince-inducing but still one of the most memorable characters of modern cinema. Mendes expertly narrates the mid-life crisis and Spacey further made his realistic with his brilliant performance. His depression, hysteria, and obsession with his teenaged daughter’s friend would make you sit on the edge of your seat.
Remarkable performances by the entire cast, but its clearly one of the best kevin spacey performances of all time. This movie was praised and positively reviewed by the critics and earned more than $356 million globally. Spacey’s performance was particularly praised and he won his truly earned Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role, as well as several other awards, including BAFTA Film Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, and various nominations, including Golden Globe nominee for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.
2. The Usual Suspects (1995)
This movie revolves around a sole survivor who narrates the events which led to a brutal gun battle which initiated after five criminals met in a random lineup at the police station. Undoubtedly, this movie would not be the same without Spacey. His character, con man Kint, is so perfectly crafted that any actor would want to play it but no one can give justice to it and take it to a whole new level like Spacey did.
His performance is one of the main reasons this movie is still one of the most rewatched movie. Spacey won his first Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and a number of other awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.
1. L.A. Confidential (1997)
This movie marks the acting high points for the cast members, especially Spacey. The movie is about three policemen, having their own obsession and motives, tackling the corruption around an unsolved murder at a coffee shop in 1950’s. Spacey gave a subtle performance, standing out from all the shouting and chaos happening around him.
He outshines his acting counterparts in this movie. This movie was critically acclaimed and grossed about $126 million. Spacey earned a number of accolades, including winning the Empire Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Film Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role and CFCA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor:
Following three movies earn an honorable mention for Spacey’s incredible performances:
- Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
- Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil (1997)
- K-PAX (2001)
Which one is your favorite? Any other Kevin Spacey’s movie you think should be included in this list? Let us know in the comments.