You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Underseen & Undercelebrated Roles Of Johnny Depp’s Career

The Underseen & Undercelebrated Roles Of Johnny Depp’s Career

“I didn’t sell out, I bought in,” is one of our favorite movie quotes, and we’ll leave it to you to decide if it applies to a certain oddball-turned-A-lister. The career of Johnny Depp is an interesting one, to say the least, and with the outright flop of “The Lone Ranger” last weekend (which did less opening business than “John Carter” did), Disney (and presumably Depp too, to a degree) are likely still feeling the burn of that failure. “Remember when Johnny Depp could do no wrong and was one of the most adventurous actors on the planet creating a body of work that most actors could only dream of?” we wrote recently of Depp’s career. It seems like another lifetime ago, but Johnny Depp was once a relatively uncompromising actor who decided to eschew Hollywood in favor of his own weird and wonderful path.

Blessed with boyish but chiseled good looks, the young actor seemingly had a built-in bullshit detector for any project that didn’t ring true to him; perhaps any project that could actually turn him into a bonafide star outside his tabloid life. The actor famously turned down Tom Cruise‘s role as Lestat in “Interview with the Vampire,” “Brad Pitt’s romantic lead in “Legends of the Fall,” and declined to take on Keanu Reeves’ star-making turn as the action hero in “Speed.” Instead, Depp would take on more idiosyncratic fare like “Ed Wood” with Tim Burton, Jim Jarmusch’s haunting, meditative Western “Dead Man” and working alongside his idol Marlon Brando in “Don Juan DeMarco.

So Depp was slowly amassing a distinctive and peculiar body of work, choosing auteur-driven character fare over studio films, but as such he wasn’t always bankable. Depp was Francis Ford Coppola’s first choice to star in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (and apparently “The Rainmaker”) but the studio denied him and Reeves took the role instead. All that changed after Depp became Captain Jack Sparrow, a franchise character he has played four times now (with a fifth on its way), transforming him into an A-list star (after years of already being famous) at the age of 40. With that role, and a series of increasingly shallow dalliances with Tim Burton, does his choosing “The Lone Ranger” signify that his interesting career is officially over? Is the age of gonzo performances dead for good?

For someone with such a matinee-idol face, Depp favors disguise—burrowing and burying himself under layers of makeup and ridiculous hair to get inside a character. “It’s easier to look at someone else’s face than your own. Hiding: I think it’s important. It’s important for your—for whatever’s left of your sanity, I guess,” he recently told Rolling Stone. And we all know the Jack Sparrows, the Edward Scissorhands, the Raoul Dukes, the Ed Woods, and the Buster Keaton-esque Sam from “Benny & Joon” that have been the result.

And so we thought we’d look at the more forgotten, less appreciated, and seldom discussed side of Depp’s career and re-evaluate it, mainly because it gave us an excuse not to look at Captain Jack Sparrow one more time. Whatever “The Lone Ranger” means for his career, Depp’s back catalogue has its fair share of highs and lows, hidden gems and justly neglected oddities. So we decided to set sail on those less trafficked waters: here are seven films you may not know (or at least maybe not remember as well), along with three characters we think are underrated.

Arizona Dream” (1993)
For years it was reported that Johnny Depp would play Pancho Villa in a biopic about the famous revolutionary by Serbian director Emir Kusturica. The project never came to pass for Depp, but its roots stem from one of Depp’s least-seen films (and as Depp’s lowest grossing starring role ever). Kusturica, one of eight people on Earth who have two Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or awards (for 1985’s “When Father Was Away on Business” and 1995’s “Underground”), only made one American film and it was the goofy, oddball surrealist comedy “Arizona Dream,” kind of ripe material for Johnny Depp. The chance to work with a Palme d’Or winner was probably enticing, but maybe even more alluring was working alongside comedy icon Jerry Lewis and Oscar-winner Faye Dunaway. Featuring an all-around eclectic cast including Vincent Gallo, Lili Taylor and Paulina Porizkova, Depp is perhaps ironically, the most grounded character and in many ways, this makes him the least interesting of the bunch; Depp has never been great at the straight man role. He stars as Axel Blackmar, a naturalist gofer who tags fish in New York’s East River, and travels to Arizona to attend his eccentric car salesman uncle’s (Lewis) wedding. Inscrutable, but oddly appealing, the movie actually begins with Axel’s dream of an Inuit fisherman who almost risks his life to bring a fresh halibut home to his hungry family. Once in Arizona, Axel learns that the wedding (to the much younger Porizkova) is a ruse to get him to join the family business, and eventually he and his acting buddy Paul Leger (Gallo) become intertwined with an eccentric mother/daughter pair: the flying-obsessed Elaine (Dunaway) and the suicidal, tortoise-consumed Grace (Taylor). Kusturica’s idiosyncratic films have always been akin to a whirling dervish kind of experience and “Arizona Dream” is no different: bizarre, compelling, downright odd. What has the “dream” to do with anything, or the fish motif that recurs throughout? Your guess is a good as ours—the movie doesn’t really make a lick of sense and it doesn’t hold up so well nearly 20 years after its release (in 1994 we thought it was genius). But it is still enchantingly easy to watch, if only to see where the weirdness will take you next. Shot in 1991, it wasn’t properly released in the U.S. until 1994 partly due to the fact that Kusturica had to recover from a nervous breakdown while making the movie (he was so depressed at the time, the production shut down for three months; Depp says he and director had mutual “hate” for each other upon their first meeting, but it became soon became a mutual admiration society). Easily one of the more outlandish movies Warner Bros. ever released, the movie sat on a shelf for years until it was finally released on DVD in 2010. [B]

Nick of Time (1995)
We like to think of ourselves as cinephiles, and therefore you readers too, so we’ll assume you’ve already seen Jim Jarmusch’s “Dead Man” starring Depp as the fated accountant William Blake, which now a cult masterpiece, was Depp’s second-lowest-grossing starring vehicle of all time. But we can’t assume you bothered with “Nick of Time,” which was released the very same year. Directed by the largely unsung John Badham (“Saturday Night Fever,” “Blue Thunder,” “WarGames,” “Short Circuit,” “Stakeout”), it’s unclear what Depp was trying to achieve with the gimmicky thriller. Was it simply a studio paycheck gig for an actor who at the time, wasn’t really known for going that route? His agent trying to smooth out the increasingly deviating bumps in his career and diversify his portfolio? Who knows, but the role of Gene Watson, a mild-mannered widowed accountant who finds himself the wrong man in the wrong place is very sub-Hitchcockian and very un-Johnny Depp. He’s the unimpressive everyman forced into extraordinary circumstances, and this is a real outlier role as Depp was almost always adamant about not playing the hero, yet despite Gene Watson’s complete reluctance and forced hand, that’s undoubtedly what he is here. Noteworthy at the time for being set in “real time” (over the span of a few hours), Depp’s Watson is forced into a situation where he must kill a politician in order to save his kidnapped daughter, and if the premise sounds like banal studio fare, that’s because it is. Co-starring Christopher Walken in one of his least interesting supporting roles, Charles S. Dutton, Roma Maffia and character actors Marsha Mason, Peter Strauss, and G.D Spradlin, “Nick of Time” is an uninvolving, rote thriller. Further, it’s an unexceptional moment in Depp’s career with plot determining the acting and with none of his interesting textures or contours brought to enliven the proceedings (and for Badham it’s fairly incoherent directorially compared to his more classic earlier works). “Nick of Time” performed poorly for Paramount and generally received negative reviews from critics as well. So Depp may by nature have been averse to leading man roles, but it’s also clear that the Hollywood cookie cutter computation-bot ran the numbers and saw that the actor come up extremely short in this regard too. [D]

The Astronaut’s Wife” (1999)
Rand Ravich’s career in relation to the success of “The Astronaut’s Wife”? Put it this way, this Johnny Depp-led science fiction/conspiracy thriller was Ravich’s first and only feature-length film. Presumably it landed him in maximum-security director’s jail explaining why he hasn’t left since. The ‘90s were Johnny Depp’s “try new things” phase, and flirting with studio roles in between Tim Burton films (“Sleepy Hollow” would arrive the same year), the actor took another fairly “straight” role, though “The Astronaut’s Wife” is noteworthy for being the first time he’d play a villain and his first foray into sci-fi (though the film’s sci-fi trappings are muted and the picture hews closer to psychologically claustrophobic conspiracy thriller). Aside from that, it’s hard to see what the appeal was. Depp stars as Spencer Armacost, one half of a pair of astronauts who lose communication with NASA for a crucial two minutes while repairing a satellite in Earth’s orbit. An explosion occurs, NASA loses them and when they somehow return to their ship and eventually to Earth, they are found prone and comatose. Charlize Theron plays Jillian Armacost, Spencer’s wife, who is horrified by the news but happy to learn her husband is alive. But NASA Capt. Alex Streck (Nick Cassavetes) and his wife Natalie (Donna Murphy) aren’t so lucky and after they return to Earth, Streck suffers an unexpected stroke and dies while his wife commits suicide soon thereafter. Something also seems to be up with Spencer, who has now quit NASA and taken an executive position at a powerful corporation in New York—it seems he’s just not quite the same person he was before… Playing would-be Hitchockian cat and mouse games, “The Astronaut’s Wife” is largely your standard operating procedure conspiracy thriller until it turns sillier with its sci-fi-ish non-surprise (which is pretty clear to anyone who watched the original trailer, hence the lack of true suspense throughout). Largely forgettable, it was as if audiences just wouldn’t cotton to Johnny Depp unless he was playing one his trademark outlandish characters. Made by New Line for $75 million (his biggest film to date aside from “Sleepy Hollow”), “The Astronaut’s Wife” was a huge flop, grossing just $10 million domestically. And not that these things matter that much, but the thriller also has the distinction of having the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score of any Johnny Depp film at 16%. [D]

The Ninth Gate” (1999)
Johnny Depp, venerable director Roman Polanski and a mid-sized studio with a moderate budget ($38 million), that included European funds—this is no Hollywood project. And yet, it might as well be. While slightly more remarkable than the other films on this list, it’s not by much. In this mystery thriller (Depp’s kryptonite genre), Depp plays Dean Corso, an unscrupulous rare book dealer motivated by pure financial gain who is hired by a wealthy book collector (Frank Langella) to track down and authenticate all three copies of an ancient book that purportedly contains the secret to summoning the Devil. While seeking out the last two copies of this text, Corso gets drawn into a conspiracy that possesses supernatural overtones. Co-starring Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner (naturally) as a mysterious woman who comes to Corso’s aide, and Lena Olin, James Russo and American horror actor Jack Taylor, “The Ninth Gate” obviously comes shrouded in layers of the occult, but the backbone of the story is definitely in the noir-esque tradition of the patsy detective hired to do the dirty work for an immoral, shady and mysterious employer. And this is what gives “The Ninth Gate” its most interesting, if very familiar, notes. Aesthetically, it also has an appealing atmosphere as well thanks to cinematographer Darius Khondji and Polish composer Wojciech Kilar (“The Pianist” and “We Own The Night“). Ultimately, however, you can only knock out your protagonist so many times before the audience gets annoyed at this contrived manipulation and “The Ninth Gate” travels down a pretty predictable path before it gets to its melodramatic, flame-soaked conclusion. While Depp has slightly more to do—his character is a disheveled, ne’er-do-well who doesn’t really give a damn for anyone but himself—it’s not the most exciting character or performance of his career either. Ironically, it was Depp who evidently reined himself in. “He [Depp] decided to play it rather flat which wasn’t how I envisioned it,” Polanski told an interview candidly about his disappointment in the performance. “And I didn’t tell him it wasn’t how I saw it.” Depp hinted at the friction by saying, “It’s the director’s job to push, to provoke things out of an actor” (though it should be noted that Polanski has nothing but praise for the “brilliant” actor in this interview). “The Ninth Gate” received sub-par reviews and only grossed $18 million domestically off a $38 million dollar budget. It’s often cited on the web of being a bad movie by a good director (we’ve got 20 such examples of that here), but clearly those writers have never seen Polanski’s “Pirates” (or “What?” for that matter) which makes “The Ninth Gate” look like a masterwork in comparison. [B-]

The Man Who Cried” (2000)
The conventional wisdom says that Johnny Depp could not open a movie to great success until he became a worldwide megastar in the wake of 2003’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” While that may be true, studios still loved the guy’s beautiful face and tried to put him front and center at all costs. See Sally Potter’s emigree drama “The Man Who Cried,” which however, is not a Johnny Depp film in the least. Starring Christina Ricci, Potter’s film centers on a displaced young Jewish girl (Ricci) who grows up in England after being separated from her father in Soviet Russia. As a young adult, she moves to Paris shortly  before the beginning of World War II to try and fulfill her lifelong dream of being a singer. And yet the poster for “The Man Who Cried” has Depp’s face front and center next to Ricci even though his role as a gypsy that she falls in love with is even smaller than the supporting roles of Cate Blanchett and John Turturro (Harry Dean Stanton might even have more lines than Depp’s largely taciturn character). Cesar the Gypsy is the rare character for Depp these days: the bit part. Apart from bedding Ricci, being quiet and being fond of horses, Depp’s definitely not an integral part of this movie, but we include it for your edification since it only made $747,000 in the U.S. for Universal/Focus and you’ve likely not seen it (unless you run a fansite for Depp, Ricci or Potter). It’s a decent, deliberately paced drama (read: a little bit slow), but it’s Potter so it’s at least marginally engaging, if not her best work. [C+]

Blow” (2001)
We suppose Ted Demme’s cocaine drama is perhaps the most-seen film on this list, but it, too, only did average business at the box-office, so that’s debatable. Detailing the story of real-life American cocaine smuggler George Jung, whose ‘70s drug empire was so big he made connections with Pablo Escobar, perhaps the appeal for Depp was family. Jung’s tale is a classic rags-to-riches, then fall from grace fable, and the underbelly of it all is about the character’s need for redemption with his parents, including his unloving mother and his own family, especially his daughter. But while this texture is there, “Blow” is essentially more interested in being rock ‘n’ roll. Its screenplay template is basically modeled on “Goodfellas” and as such it suffers greatly by trying to manufacture a fake and phony cool. The movie employs all kinds of garish style with the music—The Rolling Stones, Dylan, Faces, Cream, Lynyrd Skynyrd—cranked up to 11 to not-so-lightly suggest to the audience: [over loud music so you can barely hear] “This lifestyle is so crazy, are we the kings of cocaine! What? What was that?!?” Though Depp does get to wear his hair long and blond, sport comically pimp sunglasses he might actually wear in real life, smoke cigarettes and dress in cool ‘70s outfits, so there is that. But there also isn’t a lot for Depp to do aside from wear various silly wigs of varying lengths over the years, play badass with a gun for a few moments and of course try and come to Jesus in a few moments with his father (Ray Liotta) and his daughter (a very young Emma Roberts). Co-starring Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente, Rachel Griffiths and Paul Reubens, “Blow” sounds good on paper, but it’s so desperate to be Scorsese-esque or the “Boogie Nights” of cocaine dealing, it never finds much of a compelling identity. It might have a sprawling ambition that spans a few decades, but it quickly buckles under the weight of pretty unimaginative direction and a rote script; we’ve seen it all before. Critics were mixed on the film, but arguably even so, too kind. “Blow” couldn’t make back its $53 million budget domestically and was another write-off for New Line. [C-]

The Libertine” (2004)
Slightly more financially successful than its art-house predecessor “The Man Who Cried,” Laurence Dunmore‘s 2004 British drama “The Libertine” is the last arthouse movie Johnny Depp deigned to star in so far (“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” only partly counts since he was called in after the fact as a favor, in a supporting part). Though surely The Weinstein Company had bigger designs for the movie than a paltry $4 million dollars given that it was released in their first year of operations. While it feels like a Infinitum Nihil pet project (Depp’s production company), it’s actually a Mr. Mudd labor of love (John Malkovich’s shingle; he co-stars). Given his own tendency for hedonism and vaguely authentic British accents, it’s no wonder Depp agreed to star as the rakish 17th century poet John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester, who famously drank and debauched his way to an early grave, only to earn critical acclaim for his life’s work posthumously. Featuring a long wig, the trademark Depp English accent and 17th century period clothing, Depp’s rendering of the Earl is typically flamboyant, but not as swishy and tipsy as say, Jack Sparrow. Co-starring Samantha Morton as the actress he helps blossom and then falls in love with, Rosamund Pike as his wife, Malkovich as King Charles II and a supporting cast that includes Tom Hollander, Rupert Friend and Kelly Reilly, there’s a lot of talent involved in this, but a shortage of inspiring moments. Perhaps it’s the drab photography; though DOP Alexander Melman’s visuals appear to be shot on not-ready-for-prime-time digital cameras, but the film was actually shot on 35mm much to the detriment of his career and promo reel. But at least there’s Michael Nyman‘s score, which might just be the most interesting creative element of the film, and Depp, who puts in a serviceably zealous turn as the depraved and contemptuous libertine. In the end it’s simply a murky and muddled picture, both visually and narratively. [C]

Secret Window” (2004)
Directed by famous screenwriter David Koepp, one of the most successful writers of all time when it comes to box office receipts (“Jurassic Park,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Spider-Man”), the implausible “Secret Window” is so ridiculous that it’s a wonder the man behind it writes for a living. Late-era De Palma-esque in its ridiculous plotting, minus any of the visual panache or ironic tongue-and-cheek notes, “Secret Window” was evidently an old Koepp script that was greenlit after the fact in the twist-happy post-M. Night Shyamalan era. And it shows, as the movie is equally as risible as any of the “The Sixth Sense” filmmaker’s less successful works. Based on a Stephen King novella, “Secret Window” reads like a cheap, afterschool special version of a thriller; something that you might peruse at the grocery store while waiting to pay for your perishables. It’s a thriller, but an exceptionally silly one and again, what the appeal was for Depp isn’t clear. Depp plays Mort Rainey, a novelist recovering from a breakdown after he catches his wife (Maria Bello) cheating on him with another man (Timothy Hutton). Nearing the end of his divorce proceedings, he retreats to a cabin in Upstate New York to finish his latest novel. Suffering from writer’s block and depressed, his life is turned sideways when he is suddenly accused of plagiarism by a strange Mississippi dairy farmer (John Turturro), who then starts pursuing him for “justice.” The man claims a story he wrote in 1997 was stolen by Rainey, but the author—who had a plagiarism incident once before—notes that his story was originally published in a 1995 magazine. Unconvinced, the stranger demands to see proof and keeps tormenting the man. When his dog is killed, Rainey hires an old a private investigator friend (Charles S. Dutton again) to help him out. We won’t spoil it here, but as “Secret Window” escalates it only gets more absurd and not in a good way; its concluding twist is essentially equivalent to “it was all a dream.” Perhaps the stupidest movie Johnny Depp has ever been in, audiences were rather cool on the Sony thriller too and it only grossed $48 million domestically off a $40 million budget. For Depp’s part, he plays Rainey as disheveled and confused; his hair always a variation on “extreme bedhead.” (There’s likely something in his various contracts that says the actor is allowed to keep whatever hairstyle he has at the time, wear his own glasses and of course, always smoke his own clove cigarettes.) Critics didn’t take to “Secret Window” either, but it’s something of an injustice that it wasn’t up for multiple Razzies and Worst Movie Of The Year lists. Though we suppose that Philip Glass score is kinda nice. But either way, Koepp and Depp seemed to have got on famously, and are preparing to reteam for crime comedy “Mortdecai” which could shoot as early as this fall. Let’s hope the results are a bit more inspired. [D-]

And 3 Underrated Johnny Depp Characters
Edward Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow, Raoul Duke in “Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas,” these are generally regarded as Johnny Depp’s most beloved characters, but there are three others we really love that we thought we’d run down.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico” (2003) — Sands
Robert Rodriguez’s trilogy-closing “El Mariachi” film is uneven, but there’s a playfulness and loopy pulpy insanity to it all that makes it much more endearing than most violent action films of this ilk. ‘Mexico’ is the most gonzo of all three films story wise and much of that is due to Johnny Depp. The actor apparently needed some convincing to take the role, but when he was given carte blanche to do basically whatever he wanted, Depp soon became enamored with the idea of running wild. He takes the role of Sheldon Sands, a CIA agent playing both sides in a plot to assassinate the President of Mexico. Sands is not only eccentric, but hilarious. “Are you a Mexican? Or a Mexican’t?” he asks Danny Trejo. A master of cheesy disguises, Depp’s Sands wears a catalogue of mustaches, crazy Terminator sunglasses, various stupid T-shirts, fanny packs, short shorts and other ridiculous and funny paraphernalia. Depp told EW he “imagine[d] this guy wore really cheesy tourist shirts” and had a “sideline obsession with Broadway.” All of this was apparently Depp, and Rodriguez was more than happy to let the actor loose. Depp was so game for anything that on the last day of shooting when he was done early he convinced Rodriguez to let him play a priest that El Mariachi confesses to. Depp dons a cheap beard, a Brando-ish accent and boom, it’s yet another wacky role in this movie. Of course all of Sands’ double-crosses find him with his eyes removed thanks to another double-cross from a venal FBI agent (Eva Mendes), but what’s to stop a man attending a shoot out when you have a little Chiclets-selling Mexican boy to be your eyes? Depp’s characterization of Sands is loose, loopy and his enjoyably unconventional performance steals the entire show. Extra note: Yep, it’s a small-ish part, but Depp is front and center on the poster with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — Willy Wonka
Tim Burton’s remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” was a commercial and critical hit, so we’re not sure how “underrated” this character and movie is, but there were a lot of major critics that disliked it (Sarris, Lane, Shickel, Turan) and we’re not sure how beloved it is in cinephile circles. And yes, Gene Wilder’s take is unforgettable, but so is Depp’s delightfully deranged and twisted version of the Chocolate Genius Willy Wonka. The pageboy haircut for one, the gigantic teeth and the reported Michael Jackson mimicry are all pretty hilarious. Wonka was always condescending, but Depp’s uber droll, patronizing contempt for the children and parents in the film is just too damn funny. Depp’s models for the films have been various and apparently shifted from interview to interview. Aside from Jackson, the inimitable Carol Channing was said to be one key influence, but so was apparently President George Bush. “I imaged what [he] would be like… incredibly stoned,” he told Ellen DeGeneres. Captain Kangaroo and other various game show hosts were also said to be in the mix. Mischievous, fiendishly wry and deliciously disdainful, his Wonka may not be the original movie incarnation, but it is one of Depp’s very best characters. And while Tim Burton movies, especially with Johnny Depp, haven’t been very inspired in almost two decades, this is arguably the director’s last, almost-great film.

Before Night Falls” — Bon Bon/Lieutenant Victor
It’s maybe 10 minutes of screen time, but Johnny Depp’s twofer cameo in Julian Schnabel’s “Before Night Falls” is pretty unforgettable. In the picture, Javier Bardem’s openly gay Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas is imprisoned for allegedly abusing minors, but in reality, it was simply for being a gay dissident the government didn’t like. In the squalor of his incarceration, he meets two distinct characters. One is Bon Bon, a sexy and flamboyant drag queen who struts her feather boa’d stuff across the prison grounds and is known for her special ability to smuggle massive quantities of anything up her ass. Arenas befriends Bon Bon and gets her to sneak his letters out (there’s a hilarious scene with the character taking about a dozen rolled-up packages out of her rear in a toilet and it amusingly seems to go on forever). The second character is Lieutenant Victor, the cruel and slick prison warden who torments Arenas, going so far to force him to perform fellatio on the pistol stuck in his mouth. Both characters are played by Depp and the roles underscore his playfulness, comfort in his own masculinity and his utter versatility. Depp, who had known Schnabel before, did the role(s) for free and wouldn’t take any kind of salary. “[Schnabel] called and asked if I wanted to play a small part as a transvestite in ‘Before Night Falls,’ ” Depp said. “I though, easy enough, I only need to wear a bra and a dress; nice of him to ask me.”

Well, that’s a wrap, but obviously that’s not all of Depp’s smaller, lesser-seen movies. There’s 1985 comedy, “Private Resort” (technically the 2nd lowest grossing film of his career, but he was barely a star then), a tiny role in Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” and his film debut in “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” John Waters’ “Cry-Baby” is also relatively underseen, but it’s also become a camp cult classic. “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” certainly made decent money at the box office for an indie that year, and it earned Leonardo DiCaprio a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination and that gave it plenty enough attention to become a beloved classic later on. “Don Juan DeMarco” with Brando made $22 million domestically, but we’d be willing to bet it’s one of the films with a lot less repeat home video business than some of these other nooks and crannies. Your thoughts and or picks? Got a favorite underseen Johnny Depp movie? Is it actually good? Is there a performance you feel that’s underrated? Sound off below, and note this wasn’t meant to be a hit piece in the least, but upon closer inspection a lot of these pictures just do not hold up. Oh, and for one other movie that wrongfully sells itself on Depp’s face: “Chocolat.” A Miramax movie that he has a small supporting role in (it’s Juliette Binoche‘s film), but that didn’t stop them from slapping his visage front and center on the poster beside her.

This Article is related to: Features and tagged , , ,


Comments

Tomisawasteofspace

We got your comment (which is untrue by the way) the first time you posted it nitwit.

Tammy

Arizona Dream is worth a look. Vincent Gallo is funny as shit in it. Surprised he is not a top comedy actor in the USA as he is also very very funny in Buffalo 66

Tom

Johnny Depp needs pirate teeth, scissor hands or Wonka hats to be even slightly bearable in a film. Furthermore if he has scenes with a girl the film becomes uncomfortable as Depp obviously has zero comfort with women. And for the record, Vincent Gallo blows Johnny Depp off the screen in Arizona Dream.

Tom

Johnny Depp needs pirate teeth, scissor hands or Wonka hats to be even slightly bearable in a film. Furthermore if he has scenes with a girl the film becomes uncomfortable as Depp obviously has zero comfort with women. And for the record, Vincent Gallo blows Johnny Depp off the screen in Arizona Dream.

myk

Benny & Joon!!!!! Benny!

andrew

This is a perplexing title for an article, considering you didn't really like most of the movies in the list.

yousef

"Depp has never been great at the straight man role"

Oh really? go see finding neverland,public enemies,blow,donnie brasco and then lets talk.

jimmiescoffee

I love The Ninth Gate

Harmony

Good list. I was just thinking about the Ninth Gate which is pretty decent, but as you say, not great.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *