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Most Underrated Actors

Not sure why this would need an introduction! So on we go...


Sam Rockwell

The vile and truly despicable inmate of The Green Mile, the sleazy and vainglorious magnate in Iron Man II, and the narrow minded but good-hearted deputy in 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. All but a tiny amount of the varied and fabulously impressive roles owned by this man. Although he has won an Oscar, he is not nearly the household name he should be.


Rose Byrne

Hilarious, cute, and completely disarming. One of the most expressive female comic actresses around. A veteran of many great roles, such as This is Where I leave You and X-Men: Apocalypse, but it is as the sexually provocative popstar/model Jacqui Q in Get Him to the Greek, that wins her place on this list



Paul Giamatti


He can be what you like. A pathetic bumbling idiot, a vicious slave master, or a sleazy record exec. Man on the Moon, Straight Outta Compton, or Twelve Years a Slave are but a mere clip of his accolades. However, in his turn as manipulative psychotherapist Eugene Landy, in the Brian Wilson Biopic Love and Mercy, he shone the brightest.



Forrest Whittaker

Who else can you think of that can go from a doomed goofy British soldier under IRA sentence, to a Samurai assassin, then from a likeable pool-hustler to a wild African despotic sociopath. Denzel Washington is always cited as the black actor who is overlooked. He could not hold a candle to this guy.



Cathy Moriarty


She has one of the most captivating screen presences of any actress, yet we see her so rarely. Remarkable in Raging Bull as the long-suffering Vicky, or the tolerant but deadly mob-boss in the otherwise average Analyze That. She deserves more parts of merit



Alan Ford


Brick Top. Say no more.



Paul Dano


Also in the aforementioned Biopic Love and Mercy in which he played a young Brian Wilson. Notable for the captivating portrayal of the first playing of God Only Knows to Wilson's cruel father. More burned into our cinematic eyeballs thouogh, is his dazzling performance as the Sunday brothers in There Will be Blood. To see a man of his age hold his own against the finest actor the world has ever seen is a testament to his talent. We are seeing repeated proof of this in every role.



Michael Rooker


A physical actor with piercing eyes and a southern-style drawl that makes his delivery come with a punch. From the surrogate father to Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, back to the hilarious turn as the scheming father in the classic teen comedy Mallrats. He gives a dual image of brute and brain and is a welcome addition to any cast list I see.



David Patrick Kelly


He can be a conniving and vile gangster as we saw in The Crow and Warriors, yet always charismatic. Still he can be a bookish goof as shown in K-Pax, but always charming. However, I am sure I am not alone in recalling him most from his quotable turn as sleazy fixer Sully in Commando. We all remember that line from Arnie: "I lied." Yet none of us really know what Sully says after. If you do, please share in the comments for a mention in our next review.



Kristen Scott-Thomas


Unfairly second fiddle to the awful Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings, she still showed her acting chops as the stern and humorous victim of unrequited love. She played the love-starved mother in the massively underrated English comedy Keeping Mum, but for us here at Nicely Put she won a lifelong fist-bump for her magnificent turn as Aunt Mimi/Mary Smith in the splendid John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy.



Jeffrey Wright


He saved the 2000 Shaft movie (along with Christian Bale) with his turn as flash gangster Peoples Hernandez and is a brilliant choice as the modern Felix Leiter in the James Bond franchise. Often forgotten or skimmed over in the description he is always plays his part. A perfect example being Ali, with his portrayal of Muhammed's photographer and biographer, Howard Bingham.



Honourable mentions:


Toni Colette

Michael Wincott

Anyone we have missed? Please tell us in the comments section below



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Nicely Put 2020

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