3. Ed Wood - Ed Wood
One of Depp's most nuanced though least-appreciated performances comes in Tim Burton's superb document of the world's worst movie director, Ed Wood which, unsurprisingly, is one of the pair's least financially successful films to date. Burton takes the genius approach of shooting the film in much the same B-movie style as Wood did his own movies, allowing Depp to harness one of his very best peculiar, oddball performances.
Though the film could easily have been a skewering of an awful filmmaking non-talent, Burton instead takes a more heartfelt approach that celebrates the man's passion over his technical skill, and Depp conveys this in a quietly affecting manner. The Wood we see here has an almost childlike fascination with storytelling, and while he never achieved any acclaim whatsoever, the man's name has become etched in the annuls of film history forever more. This film could not have hurt.