Best Gary Oldman Movies of All Time: A Comprehensive List


Are you familiar with Gary Oldman’s impressive acting abilities in Hollywood? He is a prominent personality in the entertainment realm and has the aptitude to embody diverse roles. Over the course of thirty years, he has left a lasting impact on the big screen with his remarkable acting skills, showcasing exceptional performances in some of the most notable films of all time.

From his early appearances in captivating British dramas to his more recent roles in blockbuster hits, Gary has consistently delivered outstanding performances that have garnered him numerous accolades throughout his illustrious career. Critics just love him! It’s truly remarkable to witness the versatility of his acting skills, as he flawlessly portrays a diverse range of characters throughout his career, be it antagonistic or protagonist roles.

Moreover, his ability to breathe life into those characters on the screen is truly awe-inspiring. He can easily switch from playing one role to another that’s completely different, and he always manages to nail it! You might recognize him as Sirius Black in “Harry Potter,” Commissioner Gordon in “The Dark Knight” movies, or Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” In fact, he even won an Academy Award for his role as Churchill in 2018 – pretty cool, right?

Despite his long and impressive career, Oldman continues to take on challenging roles and deliver outstanding performances. He starred in a psychological thriller movie called “The Woman in the Window” that came out in 2021, and he’s also going to be in a TV series called “Slow Horses” based on some spy novels by Mick Herron. Looking back at all of Oldman’s impressive performances over the years, it’s evident that he cemented his status as one of the best actors ever.

Early Career

Gary Oldman - early career

Gary Oldman started his acting career in the early 1980s. At first, he mostly appeared in minor roles in films and on TV, but he also did some work on stage. But then, in 1986, Gary’s career took a significant turn when he landed the role of punk rocker Sid Vicious in the movie “Sid and Nancy.” His exceptional performance was the talk of the town and became the catalyst for his success in Hollywood. Gary’s dedication to the part and his ability to bring the character to life impressed the audience and garnered rave reviews from critics.

Throughout the late 80s and early 90s, Gary continued to captivate audiences with his standout portrayals, including playwright Joe Orton in “Prick Up Your Ears” (1987) and Lee Harvey Oswald in “JFK” (1991). Critics have always appreciated his talent for fully embodying his characters and making them feel authentic on screen. Interestingly, Gary played some remarkable roles earlier in his career as well. It was like when he starred as Count Dracula in the movie “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992. Gary was also the bad guy, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, in Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element” in 1997. He was so good in both of those roles!

Even though some of Gary Oldman’s early movies didn’t receive great reviews from audiences, his acting skills were always highly praised. For instance, in “Sid and Nancy,” which has a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the critics were really impressed with Oldman’s performance, describing it as “captivating” and “brilliant.” And in “Prick Up Your Ears,” which has an 89% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the critics were equally impressed, commending Oldman’s “riveting” and “powerful” portrayal of Joe Orton. It’s clear that Gary’s talent and hard work really paid off during the early days of his career, setting him up for the continued success he enjoys today in Hollywood.

Breakthrough Roles

Gary Oldman - Breakthrough Roles

Gary Oldman is a well-known actor famous for his incredible versatility and ability to embody any character he plays on screen thoroughly. Nevertheless, it was specific roles that propelled him to stardom and cemented his place as one of the most outstanding actors of his time. Allow me to recount a few of these performances that continue to captivate audiences and have garnered widespread acclaim, resulting in numerous accolades.

  • Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986)Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the bassist was electrifying! His raw and intense portrayal captured punk rock’s essence and flawlessly embodied Vicious’s self-destructive tendencies. His performance was truly unforgettable and continues to resonate with audiences.
  • Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears (1987)Gary Oldman’s depiction of the renowned British playwright Joe Orton was exceptional. His portrayal was a revelation, as he skillfully embodied Orton’s sharp wit while subtly infusing a sense of peril, resulting in a captivating and unsettling character. In sum, it was an outstanding performance that resonated deeply with the viewers, leaving a lasting impact.
  • Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK (1991)Gary Oldman’s performance as the alleged killer of President John F. Kennedy was both riveting and multifaceted. With great skill, he conveyed the intricacies of Oswald’s personality and the disputed nature of his role in the tragic event, leaving a powerful impression on the audience.
  • Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Oldman’s performance as the iconic vampire was both seductive and terrifying. He brought romanticism to the character that had been missing in previous adaptations while still maintaining his monstrous nature.
  • Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012) – Oldman’s portrayal of the iconic Batman ally was understated but powerful. He brought a sense of gravitas and integrity to the role, making Gordon a trustworthy and respected figure in the Gotham City police force.

These performances helped establish Gary Oldman as one of the most talented and versatile actors of his generation. It’s just incredible how much honor Gary has received for his acting in both “Sid and Nancy,” and his portrayal of Joe Orton, and that didn’t stop there.

The New Yorker hailed his performance as “mesmerizing” and “fearless,” while The Guardian praised his depiction for its “wit and menace.” It’s clear that Gary’s remarkable talent and skill as an actor have rightfully earned him a place among the most exceptional performers in the entertainment industry.

And it’s easy to see why so many people have praised Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the iconic character in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” given the impressive 72% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. His breakthrough performances have become the stuff of legend in the film industry and continue to captivate audiences today.

Iconic Performances

Gary Oldman - Iconic Performances_

It’s awe-inspiring how seamlessly he transitions between various roles, isn’t it? He really left a lasting impression on some of the most unforgettable characters in film history, like when he portrayed Sid Vicious in “Sid and Nancy” or embodied Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” Here are some of his most iconic performances:

  • Sid Vicious in “Sid and Nancy” – Gary Oldman’s portrayal of a renowned punk rock musician in the biographical film is truly impressive. His authentic and powerful performance is awe-inspiring, as he perfectly channels the character’s intensity and rawness. Critics have raved about his performance, with Roger Ebert describing it as “one of the great performances of recent years.”
  • Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK – Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone’s “JFK” garnered widespread praise from critics and audiences alike, earning him a well-deserved nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the prestigious Academy Awards. The eminent publication, The New York Times, even lauded his performance as “mesmerizing.” It’s safe to say that Oldman’s nuanced and gripping portrayal of Oswald left an indelible impression on viewers.
  • Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula – In Francis Ford Coppola’s cinematic interpretation of the timeless tale, Oldman masterfully embodied the legendary vampire, exuding both allure and terror. The Guardian’s “mesmeric” choice captures his performance’s hypnotic quality.
  • Sirius Black in the Harry Potter seriesAs Harry Potter’s godfather, Sirius Black, Oldman infused the character with a rich and intricate portrayal that won accolades from both fans and critics. Empire Magazine’s label of “the perfect Sirius” highlights the widespread admiration for his performance.
  • Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight trilogyIn Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight trilogy,” Oldman’s depiction of Commissioner Gordon was lauded for its understated yet intricate portrayal, which captured the character’s complexity with finesse. The critics had nothing but high praise for his performance, and they really appreciated how he paid attention to every little detail and set a high standard. The Hollywood Reporter called his performance “superb.”

Gary Oldman is an indeed famous actor who’s super talented at fully immersing himself in the characters he plays on the big screen. His acting skills are so excellent that not only do they inspire and impress audiences, but they also deeply impact aspiring actors. When you watch his movies, you can’t help but be blown away by how he entirely becomes the characters he portrays. It’s no wonder he’s such a big deal in the entertainment industry!

Gary Oldman’s acting abilities have received much well-deserved recognition lately. One critic who writes reviews on Rotten Tomatoes said that the actor who played Winston Churchill in the movie “Darkest Hour” did a really great job, and it was the perfect role for him. It’s incredible how Gary Oldman can make his characters feel so real and emotional, and it’s no surprise that fans and experts hold him in such high esteem. 

One IMDb reviewer was particularly blown away by his portrayal of Commissioner Gordon in “The Dark Knight.” Not only that, but famous magazines like The New Yorker and Rolling Stone have also recognized his exceptional talent and skill, calling him a daring and versatile actor and one of the greatest of his time. It’s easy to see why he’s garnered such high praise for his performances! That’s pretty impressive.

Recent Work

Gary Oldman - Recent Work

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that Gary Oldman is an outstanding actor – his place among the all-time greats in the acting world is well-deserved, and it’s undeniable. His abilities continue to impress audiences to this day, and we highly recommend checking out some of his latest work for an enjoyable viewing experience. With our wholehearted endorsement, here are a few projects worth considering:

Movie Title Release Year Critics’ Score Audience Score 

  • “Darkest Hour” (2017) – 86% 83%  
  • “Mank” (2020) – 83% 61%  
  • “The Laundromat” (2019) – 41% 26%

Guess what? Gary Oldman snagged an Academy Award for his remarkable performance as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour@!” It seems like the critics can’t get enough of it, with Peter Debruge from Variety calling it “a performance for the ages.” And from what I’ve heard, regular folks who saw it were equally impressed, especially with how convincingly Gary Oldman became Winston Churchill on screen.

In “Mank,” Oldman plays the titular character, Herman J. Mankiewicz, the co-writer of “Citizen Kane.” Gary Oldman’s acting in the movie got a lot of praise from critics. One reviewer, David Sims from The Atlantic, even called it a “virtuoso performance.” While the general public had mixed opinions about the movie itself, most people agreed that Oldman’s portrayal of a complex lawyer was pretty amazing. In fact, Peter Bradshaw from “The Guardian” found Oldman’s performance very enjoyable and gave it a thumbs up.


Gary Oldman - conclusion

After learning more about Gary Oldman’s incredible talent as an actor, it’s hard to imagine anyone doubting his rightful place as one of the greatest actors of his time. For over four decades, he’s captivated audiences with his remarkable performances on the big screen, bringing his characters to life in truly mesmerizing ways. 

Gary’s unparalleled versatility shines through in his ability to embody both heroic and villainous roles with effortless grace, earning him well-deserved praise and a huge fan following for his work in numerous movies. We’ve conducted extensive research to compile a list of the absolute best Gary Oldman films that you simply can’t afford to miss! 

These cinematic masterpieces boast exceptional storytelling and expert direction and, of course, showcase Oldman’s exceptional talent and breathtaking performances that leave viewers spellbound.

  1. “The Dark Knight”
  2. “Sid and Nancy”
  3. “Dracula”
  4. “JFK”
  5. “Leon: The Professional”
  6. “Prick Up Your Ears”
  7. “The Contender”
  8. “Darkest Hour”
  9. “Mank”
  10. “Immortal Beloved”

Although some of Oldman’s other films, such as “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “True Romance,” received favorable reviews, they didn’t quite make the cut for our list of the top 10 Gary Oldman movies. Nonetheless, we highly recommend that viewers also give these films a chance to form their own perspectives.

Gary Oldman is a total legend in the entertainment industry! Gary possesses the remarkable ability to embody any character he portrays and deliver a remarkable performance consistently. His aptitude for bringing his roles to life has earned him a significant following. 

We’ve compiled a list of his best films to showcase his exceptional talent and enable viewers to appreciate his acting prowess fully. As a renowned critic once opined, “Gary Oldman is like a chameleon – he can transform into any character he wants! He’s a real pro, and we’ll be talking about his movies for a long time to come.”

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