Intensity - like sex and hot cakes - sells easily. It's one of those true markers in an actor's repertoire of greatness that has set some of the most successful actors of all time apart. Sure, range is great and the ability to play a broad range of complex, cerebral characters is all well and good, but that's not what really gets pulses racing.
We want to see Al Pacino screaming down a camera lens, with his face covered in powder; Charlize Theron transforming into a menacing, disarming angel of death for Monster; Daniel Day-Lewis applying every ounce of his method into knocking our boots clean off. And if actors manage a performance of sublime intensity that comes somewhat out of the blue it lands even harder.
And wouldn't you know it, kids, but there's a whole host of those very performances coming up very soon...
10. Joe Pesci - The Irishman
When you think of the legendary Joe Pesci, you probably think of a few things. Firstly, his Mutley-esque performance as Harry in Home Alone, since it's an institution, but then far darker, more intense performances like Goodfellas and Casino. Because Pesci might have been good at being a funny man, but he was even better at making other characters think he was going to smash their heads in for calling him one.
He's officially been retired since 1999, apart from one major role (in true-life brothel drama Love Ranch), a voice performance and a cameo, but rather wonderfully, he's back working with Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese for The Irishman. And given that he's playing mob boss Russell Bufalino, you can expect some of the usual fireworks.
The difference this time out is that Bufalino isn't the explosive device that Tommy DeVito and Nicky Santoro were, which means we'll be getting a different level of intensity from Pesci.