Ethan Hawke has never done a straight horror film like Sinister, out in theaters October 12th, which is a surprise given the range and intensity he delivers in every performance.  Daybreakers was probably the closest thing to a straight horror film, but it was a futuristic sci-fi/horror with a twist, not necessarily horror in the truest sense of the word.  I say all that to say this: Ethan Hawke is one of cinema’s most underrated, overlooked actors around.  With every performance he brings strong gravitas and wonderful energy.  He can be calm and introverted, tense and outward, whatever the role requires.  What has held Hawke back over the years is his choice of roles and films, many of which have been mediocre to pitiful.  However, his penchant for choosing roles beneath his superb talent sometimes overshadow the great films in his career.  Sinister looks and sounds to be a great thriller, and a new direction for the always evolving acting sensibilities of Ethan Hawke.  Here, now, are his ten best performances in, arguably, his ten best films.

RUNNERS UP include Richard Linklater’s Waking Life, an ensemble animated film where Hawke only nabbed a small portion of screen time, the overlooked thriller Taking Lives opposite Angelina Jolie, and his 2000 modern adaptation of Hamlet.

Now to the countdown…

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This article was first posted on October 3, 2012