best

Top 20 Actors of the Last Decade

buckle up you're about to be hit with a

whole lot of talent welcome to

watchmojo.com file actors based on the

performances they delivered between 2010

and 2009 teen taking into account both

television and film we're not

necessarily looking at the actors who

generated the biggest numbers at the box

office but rather those who've

distinguished themselves as being the

most consistently top-notch earning the

respect of fans critics and their peers

number 20 Robert Downey jr. there are

few greater stories of redemption in

show business than that of this iconic

actor following a roughly five-year

stretch in the late 90s and early 2000s

that saw Robert Downey jr. lost to

addiction he got clean and began

rebuilding his career in 2008 after

proving himself in a number of

critically acclaimed roles he made his

first real blockbuster film Ironman over

the course of the following decade this

role would serve as the very heart of

Marvel's groundbreaking cinematic

universe as Tony Stark Robert Downey jr.

gave us one of the longest-running

character evolutions in cinematic

history and those sometimes overlooked

because of the genre in which it plays

out it was a powerful and emotionally

driven performance one that defined the

decade

number 19 Regina King this talented

actor first came to the public's

attention in the early 90s breaking out

with performances in Friday and Jerry

Maguire you and me we determine our

words but it's between 2010 and 2009

teen that she truly cemented herself as

one of the most formidable talents of

her generation Kings best work has

primarily been on TV where she's held

critically acclaimed roles in various

series spanning the decade including

detective Lydia Adams on Southland

various characters on American crime

Erica Murphy in the leftovers

Latrice Butler in seven seconds and

among her greatest roles to date Angela

a bar in HBO's Watchmen in 2019 she won

the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for

her powerful performance in the film

if Beale Street could talk a child is

coming great job I understand you

it's your grandchild what difference

does it make how it gets here number 18

Adam driver though his characters

actions often made him hard to watch

Adam driver distinguished himself as a

talented performer and one to watch over

the course of the six seasons of girls

after rising to prominence on the series

he promptly began picking up

increasingly significant roles from his

supporting part in 2012's Lincoln to a

co-starring role in Martin Scorsese's

Silence few actors have managed to

simultaneously cultivate a reputation as

a serious dramatic actor and a star in

blockbuster films but driver can

apparently do it all the two were

accompanied by a girl

what as kylo Ren he stepped into one of

the biggest franchises of all time while

his performances in films like silence

black Klansmen and marriage story have

earned him numerous accolades and I

loved you I didn't want to lose you in

my 20s and I didn't want to lose that to

what I kind of did number 17 Jennifer

Lawrence speaking of actors who can

score big both at the box office and in

terms of Award nominations Jennifer

Lawrence has made an impact like few

others The Hunger Games franchise in

which she starred as heroine Katniss

pulled in nearly three billion dollars

at the box office this decade also saw

her playing a very prominent role in the

x-men franchise as mystique over the

last 10 years

she's simultaneously starred in a number

of critically acclaimed dramas which

have cumulatively seen her nominated for

four Academy Awards including a Best

Actress win for her starring role in

2012's silver linings playbook that's

great for all of them but all of them

didn't make a commitment to me in return

for my help

I'm Tiffany by the way across the

various organizations that recognized

acting she's earned a massive amount of

Award nominations

most of them over the 2010s before the

age of 30 number 16 Scarlett Johansson

nothing solidifies your status as one of

the acting greats quite like ending off

the decade with a Best Actress and Best

Supporting Actress nomination in the

same year alongside Robert Downey junior

Scarlett eeeem that redefined the

superhero genre over the last decade as

the infinity saga played out when

filming one juggernaut MCU film after

another she's kept her resume balanced

with more grounded roles

not to mention daring and experimental

ones her willingness to sign up for

sci-fi and action films has limited her

award potential over the last 10 years

but every time she does step into a

challenging role Johansson reminds us

she's an A lister in every way I was

embarrassed about it in front of him but

it was also like yeah this is who I am

and this is number 15 Margot Robbie it

might be hard to believe considering her

car

pop-culture omnipresence but like

Jennifer Lawrence this talented actor

ended the decade while still in her 20s

margot robbie was catapulted into the

spotlight with the wolf of wallstreet

know daddy doesn't even get to touch

mommy for a very very very long time and

despite it being a supporting role she

proved herself to be an absolute scene

stealer since then she's further

distinguished herself as an extremely

versatile actor regardless of how a film

performs be it at the box office or with

critics she shines bright her

performance as Harley Quinn in Suicide

Squad as well as in films like Mary

Queen of Scots bombshell and I Tanja

have been especially powerful with the

latter rightfully earning her an Academy

Award nomination for best actress number

14 Maher Sheila Ali not every actor has

their talents recognized in their 20s an

established TV performer mahalo Ali

first really caught the eye of cinema

goers in 2008 The Curious Case of

Benjamin Button as the new decade began

however his name recognition and clout

quickly snowballed his supporting role

in The Place Beyond The Pines garnered

praise and he soon found himself landing

roles like Boggs in the Hunger Games

franchise and Remy Danton and house of

cards the more that give the more you

can do the more you can do to better

they look 2016 was a real turning point

though moonlight enabled him to showcase

the depth of his acting ability it's

cool he won the Oscar for Best

Supporting Actor and again two years

later for 2018 Green Book and also

starred in the third season of the

critically acclaimed true detective

number 13 Saoirse Ronan I want to go

where culture is like the organ I

research or at least Connecticut or New

Hampshire where writers live in the war

into those schools anyway just look at

that acting resume between the

performances that she's delivered in

films like Lady Bird Brooklyn and Mary

Queen of Scots

Saoirse Ronan has established herself as

an incredibly versatile yet consistent

actor she can play an immature character

without making them seen two-dimensional

and yet

she's equally confident when playing a

royal with the weight of the world on

her shoulders in 2008 she was nominated

for Best Supporting Actress for her role

in Atonement over the last decade she's

added three more Oscar nominations

including the Best Actress and Little

Women and three Golden Globe nominee a

win for her role as Lady Bird the sky's

the limit for Ronan number 12 Daniel

day-lewis of slavery and in this

pestilential war this icon only appeared

in two films over the course of the last

decade but Daniel day-lewis is not a

performer who's worth is measured in

quantity but rather quality heck since

1989 he's only acted in 13 films and

nine of those have resulted in major

Award nominations he's been nominated

for Best Actor by the Academy a

staggering six times an has a 50% rate

of winning Daniel day-lewis is

considered by many to be among the

greatest living actors and so despite

only turning in two roles this decade he

nonetheless made a significant mark on

it 2012's Lincoln was one of his

greatest performances to date

and while phantom thread has less wide

appeal day-lewis still received

universal acclaim for his performance

what precisely is the nature of my game

you tell me number 11 Bradley Cooper

this guy has certainly come a long way

he went from a guest role on Sex in the

City to playing the bad guy in wedding

crashers to breaking through with the

hangover before ultimately establishing

himself as an a-lister and highly sought

after dramatic leading man he first

really showed us his worth in 2012 when

he hit us with the double whammy of

silver linings playbook and the place

beyond the pines I just can't believe

Nikki's teaching that book to the kids I

mean it's it the whole time let me just

break it down for you the whole time

you're rooting for this Hemingway guy to

survive the war and to be with the woman

that he loves Catherine Barkley

since then he's delivered one critically

acclaimed performance after another

earning for acting Oscar nominations

among his most notable roles was that of

Chris Kyle in the 2015 biopic American

sniper he

so directed starred and sang alongside

lady gaga

in the smash a star is born as a thing

about when you get famous people start

saying your full name number 10 Lupita

Nyong'o you know why how many actors can

you name who won an Academy Award for

their very first feature film not many

but such has been the meteoric rise of

this incredibly talented performer

Lupita Nyong'o was born in Mexico City

but raised in her father's native Kenya

after studying in the United States

she returned there and got her first

break in the worldwide MTV series sugar

after being suddenly thrust into the

spotlight with her breakthrough

performance in 12 years of slave however

she's proven many times over that her

place amongst the Hollywood elite is

well deserved her performance and queen

of khat way garnered universal praise

her role as Nakia in black panther

established her as an action star while

her dual performance in us is nothing

short of jaw-dropping it's our time now

number 9 Tom Hardy in 2008 this English

actor caught the attention of cinephiles

and critics with his powerful

performance in the indie biopic Bronson

he then proceeded to kick off the new

decade with a breakout role in Inception

at which point there was seemingly no

stopping him warrior The Dark Knight

Rises the revenant Mad Max fury road and

that's not even including his television

work an incredibly physical actor who's

able to convey complex and intense

emotion even when saying few words Tom

Hardy shines and blockbusters and

smaller films alike one need only look

at his Poehler contrasting roles in

warrior and Locke the latter set

entirely in a car to appreciate his

versatility if only the Academy would

pay attention more often

it's a joke is it look I know it's a

shock but it would be okay number eight

Matthew McConaughey the early 2010's

were truly a Meccano sauce it was

Matthew McConaughey's world everyone

else was just living in it after too

often being dismissed as a rom-com hunk

for some of the previous two decades

McConaughey started demanding respect

and knew with 2011's The Lincoln Lawyer

never threatened me and my family yeah

all I said was she's pretty he's scared

of us that's where you are right now it

was a great performance but few could

have predicted just how much stellar

acting lay on the horizon killer Joe

Mudd and Dallas buyers club followed

soon after with the latter earning him

the Academy Award for Best Actor add to

that his performance and true detective

among many others and his immense talent

becomes undeniable had we been making

this list in 2015 he likely would have

been in the top five but some of his

more recent films haven't mitad ly been

less well received

number 7 Emma Stone after her roles in

Superbad and Zombieland Emma Stone was

fairly recognizable though not

necessarily destined for the a-list just

yet then in 2010 she started a little

teen comedy called Easy A and everything

changed

let me just begin by saying that there

are two sides to every story and this is

my side the right one stone was

absolutely magnetic as olive penderghast

and like that a star was born one that

would rapidly rise over the course of

the decade the help followed in 2011 for

which she earned critical praise before

really hitting her stride with Birdman

lala land and the favorite which were

all released between 2014 and 2018 you

had a career dad before the third comic

book movie before people sort of to

forget who was inside that bird costume

you were doing a play based on a book

that was written 60 years ago for a

thousand rich old white people whose

only real concern is gonna be where they

could have their cake and coffee when

it's over the Afra mentioned films

earned stone three Academy Award

nominations and five Golden Globe nods

with a Best Actress Oscar and a Golden

Globe to her name she is a force to be

reckoned with

number six Ryan Gosling speaking of lala

land that's just one of the many great

performances of this talented heartthrob

and former child star turned in over the

2010s

after distinguishing himself with his

performance in the 2006 film half-nelson

Gosling

really hit a stride in 2010 with Blue

Valentine from that point on the great

roles just kept on coming 2011 saw him

starring and drive and the Ides of March

followed by The Place Beyond The Pines

in 2012 and while there have been some

misfires the Big Short la-la-land

Blade Runner 2049 and first man round

out a decade of uncompromising

performances from this star his 2016

Golden Globe was well-earned but an

Oscar is overdue number 5

Christian Bale many an actor has

committed life and limb to a role but

there's arguably no actor who invests

more of themselves in a character than

Christian Bale we're gonna break that

one man be right want him to be deathly

fin

no problem overweight you can do that in

peak physical shape with enough notice

consider it done while he's famous for

radically changing his body to suit a

role that shouldn't be allowed to

overshadow his incredible acting ability

as it so often does his supporting role

in the fighter was absolutely

captivating the Golden Globe and Oscar

simply could not have gone to anyone

else and throughout the decade he's

continued to deliver in a very

consistent manner including standout

performances in American hustle the big

short Vice and board V Ferrari number

four Amy Adams this American actress

often flies under the radar even while

turning in some of the best performances

of the decade because based on her

filmography she should be at the center

of attention pretty much always Adams

kicked off the decade with a Best

Supporting Actress nomination for the

fighter and got

seem not in 2013 for her role in the

master the next year she was nominated

Best Actress for her role in American

hustle before landing yet another Best

Supporting Actress Oscar nod for Vice

so can you change can you change or am I

wasting my goddamn time though she's yet

to win the Academy Award she deserves

she does have two Golden Globes for Best

Actress and quite frankly the lack of

recognition for her role in a rival is

criminal number three

Jake Gyllenhaal not on liking the addams

this acclaimed actor tends to keep a

relatively lower profile for someone of

his status but his filmography reveals

just how talented an actor he really is

especially over the last decade he

kicked off the 2010s with the critically

lauded but underrated source code before

blowing critics away in a wide variety

of films including end of watch

prisoners wildlife and more the Academy

hasn't shown him much love since

Brokeback Mountain which is quite

frankly shocking considering his

performance in Nightcrawler was among

the year's best I'm looking for a job in

fact I made up my mind to find a career

that I can learn and grow into Who am I

I'm a hard worker I set high goals and

I've been told that I'm persistent

he's just about the last actor we

expected to see battling Spidey but

wouldn't you know it he's just as good

in a massive blockbuster as in a gritty

drama or a psychological thriller

we're kid let's get to work

number 2 Leonardo DiCaprio many have

called him the greatest actor of his

generation no one needs to be reminded

of the many award-winning films he

starred in over the years but since

we're talking about the last decade

let's review his astonishing feature

filmography Inception Jay Edgar Django

Unchained The Great Gatsby the wolf of

Wall Street the revenant Once Upon a

Time in Hollywood seven films mostly of

the highest quality and even when any of

his films falter this master of his

craft never fails to turn in a solid

performance as the revenant and the wolf

of Wall Street remind us he's also very

versatile when he steps into a character

he truly brings them to life

this is my home so I guess what we're

saying is if some of these people don't

already have Oscars they will soon has

your favorite actor appeared on this

list so far if not he or she might soon

let's look at the honorable mentions and

then we'll see who clocks in at number

one actor of the last decade what

[Applause]

I'm in right here with Detroit I got a

life too

I gave 18 years of my life to stand in

the same spot as you don't you think I

ever wanted other things don't you think

I had dreams at home I ain't never

intended to be no housewife nor slave

and taking this job it ain't right

these Lawtons is more ramshackle and any

shanty boys Cabell I ever seen those are

pictures of real things and all the

other stuff you see on there that's real

- that's real oceans real trees real

cats don't what do y'all think they just

do they just fit they just fit out in

the world I live my entire life waiting

for this morning that's raid alive I

killed just before we continue be sure

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them if you're on your phone make sure

you go into your settings and switch on

notifications number one Joaquin Phoenix

in 2008 Phoenix announced he was

retiring from acting thankfully it was

an elaborate ruse for the 2010

mockumentary I'm still here though the

divisive film was a misstep that could

have permanently derailed a career

Phoenix promptly recovered beginning

with Paul Thomas Anderson's the master

in 2012 which earned him a Best Actor

Oscar nomination

there have been precious few roles since

for which he hasn't been heaped with

praise be it in a smaller indie film or

a box-office smash like Joker whole life

I didn't know if I even really existed

but I do people are starting to notice

like Leo whatever role Phoenix takes on

he fully inhabits whether a muddled

stoner a paralyzed alcoholic cartoonist

or a villainous loner he makes them all

feel fully realized

commanding audiences with his

versatility and intensity do you agree

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