Outstanding performances in movies since 1990

This is a list that mentions both commonly good and bad actors and actresses that have made fantastic portrayals in one or several movies. Even though I really dislike, let's say, most of the work by Charlie Sheen, he made some pretty good work in "Platoon" but not that great to make it on this list (yes, I know it was made in 1986). Hope you enjoy!
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1.
Steve Buscemi
Actor, Fargo
Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy (Wilson), a restaurant hostess, and John Buscemi, a sanitation worker. He is of Italian (father) and English, Dutch, and Irish (mother) descent. He became interested in acting during his last year of high school. After graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg...
“ Norther Winslow in "Big Fish" ” - grevevondy
 
2.
Leonardo DiCaprio
Actor, Inception
Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3, to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet and Titanic...
“ Arnie Grape in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape"
Howard Hughes in "The Aviator" ” - grevevondy
 
3.
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful. Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant banker...
“ Bellatrix Lestrange in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and more Harry Potter-movies ” - grevevondy
 
4.
Brad Pitt
An actor and producer known as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt's most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club. However, his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball, and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, also loom large in his filmography...
“ Jeffrey Goines in "Twelve Monkeys" ” - grevevondy
 
5.
Haley Joel Osment
Haley Joel Osment is an American actor who has proven himself as one of the best young actors of his generation. He is the first millennial male to have received an Academy Award nomination for acting. Osment was born in Los Angeles, California, to Theresa (Seifert), a teacher, and actor Eugene Osment. His sister is actress Emily Osment. His ancestry includes English, German, and Irish...
“ Cole Sear in "The Sixth Sense" ” - grevevondy
 
6.
Christian Bale
Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Charles Howard Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different countries throughout Bale's childhood...
“ Dicky Eklund in "The Fighter"
Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" ” - grevevondy
 
7.
Ellen Burstyn
Actress, Interstellar
Ellen Burstyn was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Correine Marie (Hamel) and John Austin Gillooly. She is of mostly Irish, German, and French-Canadian descent. Ellen worked a number of jobs before she became an actress. At 14, she was a short-order cook at a lunch counter. After graduating from Detroit's Cass Technical High School...
“ Sara Goldfarb in "Requiem for a Dream" ” - grevevondy
 
8.
Harvey Keitel
American actor and producer Harvey Keitel was born on May 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York City. An Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee, he has appeared in films such as Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, Ridley Scott's The Duellists and Thelma & Louise, Peter Yates' Mother, Jugs & Speed...
“ Winston 'The Wolf' Wolfe in "Pulp Fiction" ” - grevevondy
 
9.
Tim Roth
Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Timothy Simon Roth on May 14, 1961 in Lambeth, London, England. His mother, Ann, was a teacher and landscape painter. His father, Ernie, was a journalist who had changed the family name from "Smith" to "Roth"; Ernie was born in Brooklyn, New York, to an immigrant family of Irish ancestry...
“ Mr. Orange/Freddy Newandyke in "Reservoir Dogs" ” - grevevondy
 
10.
Ewan McGregor
Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents encouraged him to leave school and pursue his acting goals rather than be unhappy...
“ Ed Bloom - Young in "Big Fish" ” - grevevondy
 
11.
Carmen Maura
Actress, Volver
Descendant of the conservative Spanish politician Antonio Maura, Carmen lead an art gallery and appeared in various roles in night- clubs. With Tigres de papel she had her first successful appearance on the movie screen and thereafter she worked at the theatre, the movies and in TV productions. Although she played dramatic roles...
“ Irene in "Volver" ” - grevevondy
 
12.
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman is the first person born in the 1980s to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress (for Black Swan). Natalie was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an American-born artist (from Cincinnati...
“ Nina Sayers in "Black Swan"
Mathilda in "Léon" ” - grevevondy
 
13.
“ Nick Naylor in "Thank You for Smoking" ” - grevevondy
 
14.
Heath Ledger
When hunky, twenty-year-old heart-throb Heath Ledger first came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of little depth. He spent several years trying desperately to sway this image, but this was a double-edged sword. His work comprised nineteen films...
“ The Joker in "The Dark Knight" ” - grevevondy
 
15.
Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer, and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the 2004 biographical film Ray. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral...
“ Ray Charles in "Ray" ” - grevevondy
 
16.
“ Gerd Wiesler in "Das Leben der Anderen" ” - grevevondy
 
17.
Hilary Swank
Hilary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Judith Kay (Clough), a secretary, and Stephen Michael Swank, who served in the National Guard and was also a traveling salesman. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Dominguez, was of Mexican descent, and her other roots include German, English, and Scottish...
“ Brandon Teena in "Boys Don't Cry" ” - grevevondy
 
18.
Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey Fowler better known by his stage name Kevin Spacey, is an American actor of screen and stage, film director, producer, screenwriter and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in the...
“ Verbal Kint in "The Usual Suspects"
Lester Burnham in "American Beauty" ” - grevevondy
 
19.
Edward Norton
Actor, Fight Club
American actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Columbia, Maryland. His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (Rouse), was a foundation executive and teacher of English, and a daughter of famed real estate developer James Rouse...
“ Derek Vinyard in "American History X" ” - grevevondy
 
20.
“ Eric Bishop in "Looking for Eric" ” - grevevondy
 
21.
Min-sik Choi
Actor, Oldeuboi
Choi Min-shik first made a name for himself in theater before breaking into the film world with a role in Park Chong-won's acclaimed film 'Our Twisted Hero' (1992). In the mid-nineties he continued to act in theater productions as well as in several TV dramas, including Moon Over Seoul with Han Seok-gyu...
“ Oh Dae-su in "Oldboy" ” - grevevondy
 
22.
Annette Bening
Annette Carol Bening was born on May 29, 1958 in Topeka, Kansas, the youngest of four children of Shirley (Ashley), a soloist and church singer, and Arnett Grant Bening, an insurance salesman. She is of German and British Isles ancestry. Her family moved to California when she was young, and she grew up there...
“ Carolyn Burnham in "American Beauty"
Nic in "The Kids Are All Right" ” - grevevondy
 
23.
Norma Aleandro
Norma Aleandro is the Grande Dame of Argentine theater and cinema not only because she was not content to have trodden the stage as early as the the age of nine, she is still active in theater and cinema in 2011. Her last film to date, Daniel Burman's La suerte en tus manos is in pre-production), that is sixty-six years later...
“ Norma Belvedere in "El hijo de la novia" ” - grevevondy
 
24.
“ Ian Curtis in "Control" ” - grevevondy
 
25.
Jennifer Lawrence
America's Sweetheart and star of the wildly popular Hunger Games series, Jennifer Lawrence is the first, and thus far only, person born in the 1990s to have received an acting Oscar (for Silver Linings Playbook). Lawrence was born Jennifer Shrader Lawrence on August 15, 1990 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Karen (Koch)...
“ Ree in "Winter's Bone" ” - grevevondy
 
26.
Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell is one of Ireland's best rising stars in Hollywood and abroad today. His film presence has been filled with memorable roles that range from an inwardly tortured hit man, to an adventurous explorer, a determined-but-failing writer, and the greatest military leader in history. Farrell was born on May 31...
“ Ray in "In Bruges" ” - grevevondy
 
27.
Benicio Del Toro
Actor, Snatch
Benicio Del Toro emerged in the mid-1990s as one of the most watchable and charismatic character actors to come along in years. A favorite of film buffs, Del Toro gained mainstream public attention as the conflicted but basically honest Mexican policeman in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic. Benicio was born on February 19...
“ Fred Fenster in "The Usual Suspects" ” - grevevondy
 
28.
“ Michael McManus in "The Usual Suspects" ” - grevevondy
 
29.
Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem is the youngest member of a family of actors that has been making films since the early days of Spanish cinema. He was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, to actress Pilar Bardem (María del Pilar Bardem Muñoz) and businessman José Carlos Encinas Doussinague. His maternal grandparents were actors Rafael Bardem and Matilde Muñoz Sampedro...
“ Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men" ” - grevevondy
 
30.
Sergi López
Sergi López is a Catalan actor, whose specialty is villains of all types but whose range also includes dramatizing romantic and comedic roles with equal mastery. He was born outside of Barcelona in the seaside town of Villanova i la Geltrú on December 22nd, 1965. As a youth he was inclined towards the performance arts and headed to France for further studies in the field...
“ Capitán Vidal in "El laberinto del fauno" ” - grevevondy
 
31.
Noomi Rapace
Actress, Prometheus
Swedish actress Noomi Rapace was born in Hudiksvall, Gävleborgs län, Sweden, the daughter of Swedish actress Nina Norén and Spanish Flamenco singer Rogelio Durán. Her parents did not stay together, and when Rapace was five she moved to Iceland with her mother and stepfather, where she lived for three years...
“ Lisbeth Salander in "Män som hatar kvinnor" ” - grevevondy
 
32.
Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman is a talented British born movie actor who played Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy, Drexl in True Romance, and George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He starred in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the remake of RoboCop. He is also an English filmmaker, musician and author. Renowned for his "big" acting style...
“ Stansfield in "Léon" ” - grevevondy
 
33.
Russell Crowe
Actor, Gladiator
Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom catered movie sets. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Wemyss, was a cinematographer. Crowe's recent ancestry includes Welsh (where his paternal grandfather was born, in Wrexham), English...
“ John Nash in "A Beautiful Mind" ” - grevevondy
 
34.
Glenn Close
Six time Academy Award-nominated actress Glenn Close was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is the daughter of Elizabeth Mary Hester "Bettine" (Moore) and William Taliaferro Close (William Close), a prominent doctor. Both of her parents were from upper-class northeastern families. Glenn...
“ Cruella De Vil in "101 Dalmatians" ” - grevevondy
 
35.
Trey Parker
Trey was born in Conifer, Colorado, on October 19, 1969 to Randy Parker, a geologist, and Sharon Parker, an insurance broker. He has an older sister, Shelley Parker. He met Matt Stone (co-creator of South Park) while attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he had a double major of music and Japanese...
“ The voice of Matt Damon in "Team America: World Police"
The voice of Kim Jong Il in "Team America: World Police" ” - grevevondy
 
36.
“ Guido Orefice in "La vita è bella" ” - grevevondy
 
37.
Gösta Ekman
His career began with a bit part at Skansenteatern in Hjalmar Bergman's play 'Markurells i Wadköping' in 1955. The following year he debuted in the movie Swing it, fröken playing against Alice Babs. He got speech lessons from actress Sif Ruud and worked behind the camera in his father's and Ingmar Bergman's movies...
“ Pompe in "Skenbart: en film om tåg" ” - grevevondy
 
38.
Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He had English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan had an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years old...
“ Severus Snape in all Harry Potter-movies ” - grevevondy
 
39.
Vinnie Jones
Actor, Snatch
Vincent Peter Jones was born on January 5, 1965 in Watford, England. He first came to public notice as a professional footballer, playing in the English Football League. Noted as one of soccer's hard men, he leaped to fame when a photographer, at a match, snapped him "marking" Newcastle United's Paul Gascoigne...
“ Big Chris in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" ” - grevevondy
 
40.
Stephen Graham
Stephen Graham was born August 3, 1973, in the small town of Kirkby, Lancashire, to a pediatric nurse mother and a social worker father. His paternal grandfather was Jamaican, and one of his grandmothers was Swedish. After years of small parts, he finally got his big break in an unexpected way, playing the dim-witted Tommy in Guy Ritchie's film...
“ Combo in "This Is England" ” - grevevondy
 
41.
“ Creepy Italian Guy in "Eurotrip" ” - grevevondy
 
42.
Eddie Murphy
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian, a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a Breyer's Ice Cream plant. His siblings are Charlie Murphy and Vernon Lynch...
“ The voice of Donkey in "Shrek" ” - grevevondy
 
43.
Nigel Lindsay
Actor, Four Lions
Nigel Lindsay was born on 17th January 1969 and entered into the world of acting comparatively late. For three years he was a financial analyst in the City in his native London but, on his own admission, hated it and applied almost simultaneously for the law and the stage. He had a place at bar school beginning on the same day as the start of his three year course at the Webber Douglas Academy...
“ Barry in "Four Lions" ” - grevevondy
 
44.
“ Waj in "Four Lions" ” - grevevondy
 
45.
“ Mia in "Fish Tank" ” - grevevondy
 
46.
Sacha Baron Cohen
British actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was born in Hammersmith, London. He is the son of Daniella (Weiser), a movement instructor, and Gerald Baron Cohen, a clothing store owner. His father, born in England and raised in Wales, was of Eastern European Jewish descent, while his mother was born in Israel...
“ Borat in "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
Thénardier in "Les Misérables" ” - grevevondy
 
47.
Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans was born and raised in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales, the son of teacher parents, Beti Wyn (Davies) and Eirwyn Evans. He was educated in two Welsh language schools - Ysgol Pentrecelyn, where his mother taught, and Ysgol Maes Garmon. During his childhood, Ifans showed an interest in performing and attended youth acting school...
“ Spike in "Notting Hill" ” - grevevondy
 
48.
Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained. For each performance, he won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award...
“ Hans Landa in "Inglourious Basterds"
Dr. King Schultz in "Django Unchained" ” - grevevondy
 
49.
Jay Baruchel
Jay Baruchel was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and was raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the son of Robyne (Ropell), a freelance writer, and Serge Victor Baruchel, an antiques dealer. He has a younger sister who also acts. He started acting in 1995 when he made his first of three appearances on the hit show Are You Afraid of the Dark?...
“ Danger Barch in "Million Dollar Baby" ” - grevevondy
 
50.
Amy Adams
Actress, Arrival
Amy Lou Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, to American parents, Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, a U.S. serviceman who was stationed at Caserma Ederle in Italy at the time. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado, and has English, as well as smaller amounts of Danish, Swiss-German, and Norwegian, ancestry...
“ Charlene Fleming in "The Fighter" ” - grevevondy
 
51.
Sharlto Copley
Actor, District 9
Sharlto Copley was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Linda Stocks and Bruce Copley, a former university professor. His childhood dreams of acting were put on hold for many years when his television production company was one of few in his native South Africa granted licensing to create content for broadcast...
“ Wikus Van De Merwe in "District 9"
Murdock in "The A-Team" ” - grevevondy
 
52.
“ Joann in "Precious" ” - grevevondy
 
53.
Mo'Nique
Actress, Precious
Monique received a standing ovation when she stepped on stage for the first time in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, giving her confidence to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. After numerous stand-up performances, she took a leap forward with one of the starring roles in The Parkers. ...
“ Mary in "Precious" ” - grevevondy
 
54.
Kate Winslet
Actress, Titanic
Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica...
“ Clementine Kruczynski in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" ” - grevevondy
 
55.
Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Marie Rose (Hebert), a stylist and hairdresser, and Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, a construction painter. His father's ancestry is Italian, and his mother is of half French-Canadian and half Italian descent. Mark moved with his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia...
“ Stan in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" ” - grevevondy
 
56.
Forest Whitaker
Actor, Arrival
Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor...
“ Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland" ” - grevevondy
 
57.
Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. He was raised in Brisbane, Queensland, after his parents split up...
“ Lionel Logue in "The King's Speech" ” - grevevondy
 
58.
Colin Firth
Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. His mother, Shirley Jean (Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University, and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's College) in Winchester...
“ King George VI in "The King's Speech" ” - grevevondy
 
59.
Woody Harrelson
Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor Woodrow Tracy Harrelson was born on July 23, 1961 in Midland, Texas, to Diane Lou (Oswald) and Charles Harrelson. He grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, and, after receiving degrees in theater arts and English from Hanover College, had a brief stint in New York theater...
“ Roy in "Transsiberian" ” - grevevondy
 
60.
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series...
“ Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables" ” - grevevondy
 
61.
Eddie Redmayne
British actor Eddie Redmayne is the first, and thus far only, millennial male to have won an acting Oscar (for The Theory of Everything). Edward John David Redmayne was born and raised in London, England, the son of Patricia (Burke) and Richard Charles Tunstall Redmayne, a businessman. His great-grandfather was Sir Richard Augustine Studdert Redmayne...
“ Marius in "Les Misérables" ” - grevevondy
 
62.
Anne Hathaway
Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Kate McCauley Hathaway, an actress, and Gerald T. Hathaway, a lawyer, both originally from Philadelphia. She is of mostly Irish descent, along with English, German, and French. Her first major role came in the short-lived television series Get Real...
“ Fantine in "Les Misérables" ” - grevevondy
 
63.
Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance, Unbreakable, Shaft, Formula 51, Black Snake Moan, Snakes on a Plane, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe...
“ Jules Winnfield in "Pulp Fiction"
Stephen in "Django Unchained" ” - grevevondy
 
64.
John Travolta
John Joseph Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey, one of six children of Helen Travolta (née Helen Cecilia Burke) and Salvatore/Samuel J. Travolta. His father was of Italian descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. His father owned a tire repair shop called Travolta Tires in Hillsdale, NJ...
“ Vincent Vega in "Pulp Fiction" ” - grevevondy
 
65.
“ Paul Sunday/Eli Sunday in "There Will Be Blood" ” - grevevondy
 
66.
Daniel Day-Lewis
Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Cecil Day-Lewis (A.K.A. Nicholas Blake) (Poet Laureate of England) and his second wife, Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and head of the famous Ealing Studios...
“ Daniel Plainview in "There Will Be Blood" ” - grevevondy