9. Michael Douglas - Falling Down
Warner BrosEveryone has a bad day from time to time. More often than not these bad days are completely out of our hands - unfortunate events transpire as if on the whim of fate and all we can do is handle them as best we can and get on with our lives. For William Foster in Falling Down, however, his bad day pushes him completely over the edge. Divorced and unemployed, all Foster wants is to get to his daughter's birthday party, but the world is clearly conspiring against him. From traffic jams to high prices in convenience stores, everything he perceives as being wrong with the world seems to be rearing its ugly head, and when a gang try to steal his briefcase and he gets the upper hand, acquiring their weapons, the straw that broke the camel's back is put in place. The episodic structure is somewhat schematic, as if director Joel Schumacher wanted to make sure he hits each beat at the right time, and many of the characters feel generic, designed to fuel Foster's decline and nothing more. But Michael Douglas's committed performance as a man going increasingly insane in reaction to a society which seems devoid of values is a career high and hugely entertaining to watch.