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Ethan Hawke: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

Before Midnight

Ethan Hawke might not be the biggest movie star on the planet, but the man is without question one of the most consistent actors working today, and he elevates that reputation considerably with his fantastic work on Before Midnight, which is released in UK cinemas today (it's amazing... my glowing praise of the film is HERE). If Hawke is an actor unafraid of both challenging artistic pursuits and straight-up genre fare, this has occasionally caused his career to suffer a few momentary blips, though as is often the case, it is most often a poor script that gives the actor little to work with than him outright flopping on his own. Thankfully for every Taking Lives, Hawke has at least a few Gattaca's, and so he's able to weather the storm with considerable ease. From Oscar nominations to critical beat-downs, here are Ethan Hawke's 5 awesome performances, and 5 that sucked...

5 Awesome Performances...

5. Hank - Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead This vastly underrated effort from Sidney Lumet - his final film, in fact - has Hawke playing Hank, a man who, along with his brother Andy (an also excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman), decides to rob their own parents' jewelry story. The result is a huge mess of death and deceit, and though having the less-flashy of the two central roles, Hawke employs his signature nervous energy to profound effect, imbuing the film with much of its humanity that is otherwise missing within Hoffman's drug-addicted, sordid character. Hawke can play the sad sack exceptionally well, as evidenced here by essentially playing the naive and more pathetic of the two siblings. This is a perfect example of two different characters and actors sublimely complimenting one another; the roles might not have worked without such a fine counter-balance at each end.
Contributor
Contributor

Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.