According to IMDb, these are Ed Norton’s best acting roles to date.
He is widely considered to be one of the greatest actors of his time. Primal Fear made him one of the most sought-after actors of all time, when he beat off thousands of other young actors for the role.
Motherless Brooklyn, which Norton Jr. co-wrote and directed, is the actor’s next project. While Norton’s performance as a detective with Tourette’s Syndrome is winning over reviewers, we felt it was time to take a look at his most popular films to date. According to IMDb, these are the top 10 Edward Norton Jr. films.
1. The Painted Veil (7.5/10)
This period drama has Norton in the role of determined doctor Walter Fane, who sets out to eradicate cholera from a Chinese village that has been hit hard by the disease.
Both ordinary moviegoers and film critics love the film, based on a W. Somerset Maugham novel. John Curran’s adaptation of the novel about a noble doctor’s attempt to save a people unlike his own, while he tries to keep his own family together, has been praised by critics. Kitty Fane, Walter’s adulterous wife, is played by Naomi Watts in the film.
2. 25th Hour (7.6/10)
Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee’s seminal film, had a profound effect on Norton as a young actor. So he pounced on the opportunity to smoke a Spike Lee joint 13 years later.
Norton portrays Monty Brogan, a drug dealer in New York City who experiences a significant period of thought before handing himself in for a prison sentence, in the film 25th Hour.. Brogan is confronted with deep-seated regret and remorse as he prepares for one final night with his two best friends, his girlfriend, and his loving father.
3. The Illusionist (7/6/10)
The Illusionist was released less than two months before Christopher Nolan’s rival magic performance The Prestige, and people still have a strong opinion regarding Norton’s sleeve-pulling tricks.
Norton takes on the role of Eisenheim, a well-known magician in the late 1800s. In his boyhood, he recognizes the woman he pulls from the audience to perform one of his feats. He uses his sorcery to try to bring the Duchess of Teschen, Sofie (Jessica Biel), over to the Crown Prince’s side, but she rejects him.
4. Primal Fear (7.7/10)
Actors making their feature film debuts usually don’t provide work this strong. However, I suppose that’s what happens if you beat out 2,100 other performers for the role.
Aaron Stampler, a nice and innocent altar boy suspected of murdering a pastor, is played by Norton in Primal Fear. His legal team includes Richard Gere, who plays himself. There’s no way anyone can think that Aaron, a sweet and kind young man, could have committed such a horrific act. A startling revelation emerges as Aaron’s defense attorney fights to clear his client’s name.
5. Birdman (7.7/10)
Norton’s performance in Birdman earned him his third Oscar nomination, following nods for his roles in Primal Fear and American History X. Birdman won Best Picture at the Oscars, despite Norton’s loss to JK Simmons in Whiplash.
Using one long continuous shot, director Michael Keaton follows disgraced actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) as he attempts to redeem himself by writing, directing, and staring in a new play. In the role of Mike, Norton parodies his on-screen persona as an arrogant actor who hides an inner sense of insecurity beneath his outward arrogance.
6. Moonrise Kingdom (7.8/10)
The first film Norton worked on with eccentric auteur Wes Anderson is still one of the most lauded by critics. Is Moonrise Kingdom your favorite Norton film?
Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) are young lovers who decide to runaway from their dreary home lives to be alone in the wilderness together. As Scout Master Ward, Norton portrays a man on a mission to find Sam after he runs away while under his care. For the first time since 2002’s Death to Smoochy, Norton plays a comic character in the picture.
7. Isle Of Dogs (7.9/10)
According to IMDB, three of the top ten Norton films are Wes Anderson productions. This baffles me.
Norton lent his voice to the character of Rex in Isle of Dogs, in which he was one of five dogs sent to aid a young boy in finding his lost pet. Every mongrel in Japan is isolated on “trash island” in the event of a Dog Flu breakout. Upon arrival on the island, Rex and his pals are met by a lonely youngster who is trying to save his beloved pet.
8. The Grand Budapest Hotel (8.1/10)
The Grand Budapest Hotel, a whimsical and comic ensemble, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for writer/director Wes Anderson. It’s easy to see why, with actors like Norton reading the lines.
The story revolves around a fictitious hotel in Europe and its eccentric concierge, Gustav H. (Ralph Fiennes). Henckels, a mustachioed lawman played by Norton, is on the case to figure out whodunit in the hotel. The film is Norton and Anderson’s second collaboration, and we can only hope that it is not the last.
9. American History X (8.5/10)
American History X is a film that will stay with you long after you’ve seen it. This is in part due to Edward Norton’s powerful performance as a repentant white supremacist gang leader.
The Nazi-tattooed hate organizer Derek Vineyard, played by Norton, is incredibly disturbing. He begins to see the light, though, after serving time in prison and receiving encouragement from his African-American high school instructor. It turns out his younger brother has taken over the mantle of skinhead hater in his absence. Despite his best efforts, Derek is unable to reach out to his brother.
10. Fight Club (8.8/10)
As remarkable as 1999 was as a year in film, few voices from a particular generation were heard more clearly than David Fincher’s Fight Club.
Fight Club follows the erratic behavior of an office drone plagued by insomnia in what amounts to a horrific psychological joke (Norton). The Narrator, deeply dissatisfied with his lot in life, imagines a fantasy version of himself in the person of Tyler Durden. Rather than a contrast to the protagonist’s character arc, Tyler serves as an allegory for his own internal conflict.