best film:  The Master. Anderson seems to believe that The Master is the best (or hinting at that by saying it’s the film he’s most proud of) film he’s made. I’m not there (at least yet). After being baffled by it twice in theater I now believe it to be one of the best films of the decade. Gladiator is rock solid, Her is great, and the films with James Gray give Phoenix tremendous depth (three out of the four are in the top 10 of their respective year) but it’s The Master here in this category by a landslide.

best performance:  The Master and we’re miles away here form everything else enough though he’s impressive in films 2-7 (6 and 7 are probably You Were Never Really Here and Gladiator). We’re 18 months from the end of the decade and Phoenix has given easily the best male performance of the decade thus far. Freddie Quill is one of cinema’s great characters. Phoenix nails the ticks, the posture, the face as a craggily façade. The processing sequence is screen acting at its finest.

stylistic innovations/traits: My guess is Phoenix will continue to climb up this list but we’re still so close to The Master and some of his recent work it’s tough to gain the correct perspective. Work like The Master doesn’t come along often though and Phoenix is no one-hit wonder. His work with Gray remains vastly underappreciated. Walk the Line and Gladiator are solid performances that help round out a resume but it’s really The Master and his work with Gray that has got him inside the top 50 (though I’m still processing his most recent collaboration with Ramsay).

directors worked with:   Gray (4), PT Anderson (2), and Ridley Scott once


Top 5 Performances:

  1. The Master
  2. Two Lovers
  3. We Own the Night
  4. Her
  5. Walk the Line

Archiveable films

1989- Parenthood
1995- To Die For
1997- U-Turn
2000- Gladiator
2000- Quills
2000- The Yards
2002- Signs
2005- Walk the Line
2007- We Own the Night
2008- Two Lovers
2012- The Master
2013- Her
2013- The Immigrant
2014- Inherent Vice
2017- You Were Never Really Here