When you think of the greatest working actors in Hollywood today, chances are the name Tom Hardy rightfully pops into your mind. The ridiculously-talented actor first appeared in the 2001 Ridley Scott-directed flick Black Hawk Down – among a myriad of other talented fellows – and has only grown in range and popularity since then.
Hardy’s role in 2008’s Bronson introduced his ability to lead a film entirely on his own and his range by portraying characters slowly going insane. He became a household name following Christopher Nolan‘s final installment of his Batman franchise, The Dark Knight Rises, in 2012 after appearing in Nolan’s modern masterpiece, Inception, two years prior.
Since his portrayal of the Batman villain, Hardy has appeared in other prominent roles including Mad Max: Fury Road and earned an Academy Award nomination for The Revenant. Because of how insanely busy the actor has been, there may have been a few performances you missed out on. To help fix that oversight, here are 5 Tom Hardy movies every fan should see.
5. The Drop (2014)
- Director: Michaël R. Roskam.
- Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and James Gandolfini.
Hardy appeared with the great James Gandolfini in what is his final performance in a film before his sudden death in 2013. Hardy stars as Bob Saginowski, a lowly Brooklyn bartender who ignores the various illegal dealings occurring in the bar. Hardy is a master at the strong & silent type and his portrayal of Bob illustrates a man who yearns for a simple life consisting of his job and an adorable pup. Rapace portrays his love interest and the chemistry between these two is fantastic, they bond over a mutual adoration for animals which will certainly pull the heartstrings of any breathing human being.
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4. Locke (2013)
- Director: Steven Knight.
- Starring: Tom Hardy and a BMW.
There are only a handful of actors who possess the capability of carrying a film entirely on their own. Hardy manages to enthrall the audience for 84 minutes as a man who must travel from Birmingham to London for the birth of a child conceived during a one night stand. During the course of the film, he makes calls to various individuals and that is all the synopsis I will give because it is worth watching as blind as possible. Hardy’s frustrations are illustrated brilliantly in this low-budget picture and you feel yourself grow more tense with each tick of the clock.
3. Warrior (2011)
- Director: Gavin O’Connor.
- Starring: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison and Frank Grillo.
Hardy and Edgerton portray estranged brothers who are both heavily involved in the world of MMA. Every respective performance is portrayed wonderfully and Nolte even earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of their father. Hardy’s physical prowess is an obvious trait that highlights his devotion for the physicality of Tommy Riordan, however it is the emotional components of his performance that enhances every aspect of his character. The connection between Hardy and Edgerton is felt immediately and the internal struggles Tommy faces is executed flawlessly by Hardy.
2. Legend (2015)
- Director: Brian Helgeland.
- Starring: Tom Hardy x2, Emily Browning, Christopher Eccleston and Chazz Palminteri.
There is nothing better than Tom Hardy on the big screen except maybe two Tom Hardys. Hardy portrays the real-life Kray twins who were the foremost perpetrators of organized crime in London during the 1950s/1960s. Hardy portrays both brothers flawlessly which is certainly no simple feat as there are certain traits that define them. Reggie Kray was a hotheaded former boxer and Ronnie Kray was a paranoid schizophrenic – Hardy manages to excel in both roles while executing those distinct traits each brother has. There are moments where you will find yourself loving them and others where you wish them intense harm. The stunning Emily Browning aka my LadyCrush for forever since appearing in the Lemony Snicket (2004) adaptation gives a terrific performance as Reggie’s wife, Frances and Reggie’s interactions with her are a main contributor to those aforementioned conflicted moments.
If you’re a fan of the gangster genre, ensure that Legend is featured in your upcoming watch list.
1. Lawless (2012)
- Director: John Hillcoat.
- Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska and Gary Oldman.
Lawless is my favorite Tom Hardy performance that asks a lot out of its actors and they all manage to excel immensely in their roles. Hardy, LaBeouf and Clarke portray the brothers Bondurant who run a moonshine business during the Prohibition era. Hardy is the eldest brother in this ensemble piece and is a prime example of where he excels in his strong & silent-type role. Forrest chooses to grumble than monologue and is a force of nature in everything he does. He manages to radiate chemistry with every secondary character he encounters and during the same year where we saw him face off with Chris Pine in This Means War and terrify as Bane, this film quietly released where Hardy truly illustrates the fantastic range he has… Plus oh my god, when is Jessica Chastain not amazing at everything she does??