12 Most Impressive Daniel Day Lewis Movies (Ranked)

An actor dedicated to his work is impressive. Few actors will avoid breaking characters even if it costs them their health.

One of them is Daniel Day-Lewis, who is willing to shiver in the cold than wearing a warmer coat that doesn’t exist in the timeline the film is representing. He will even stay in character even though the cameras are not rolling.

Daniel Day-Lewis was born on April 29, 1957. Their family lived in Greenwich, London, England. He was first featured in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) when he was only fourteen and played as a vandal.

This first minor role made him feel great as he got paid for every car he painted. He was not seen on television again until 1982 as he studied for an acting career and Daniel studied acting school at Bristol Old Vic School and acted on stage plays for a while.

Finally, he landed his first leading role in The Bounty in 1984 and was landed more major roles shortly. Because of his incredible acting skills, many critics adored him, and awards were given to him, such as Best Actor awards in Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, Satellite Award, and three Oscars.

Interested in learning more about Daniel Day-Lewis? Here are 12 Best Daniel Day Lewis Movies (Ranked).

1. There Will Be Blood (2007)

English 2h 38m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis There Will Be Blood (2007)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds

There Will Be Blood shows wealth, religion, power, and business. It was adapted from the novel “Oil!” by Upton Sinclair.

Daniel Plainview was a silver miner who became an oil prospector and would do everything to achieve his goals, even if it meant using the people around him. He adopted a son to gain a reputation as a family-oriented man and used him as a business partner that cons landowners.

This movie will bring you different emotions, thanks to the superb acting of Daniel Dan-Lewis. Even though he is a villain, he hooked the viewers. Every scene with him is always entertaining.

Some even proclaim that even if the movie only shows a few minutes with Daniel, they will still watch it. The film’s cinematography from the camera shots and great production brings more life to a more than two and a half hours movie.

2. Lincoln (2012)

English 2h 30m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis Lincoln (2012)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn

Torn between ending slavery or war, Lincoln represents the dilemma of former President Abraham Lincoln. As the American Civil War continues, he has to deal with the war in his head and the cabinet.

With time as the enemy, he must choose fast and wisely what to prioritize at a time like this. The civil war caused the death of many people. However, slavery made many more suffer.

The movie Lincoln is a biographical documentary of factual events that occurred during the main character’s time. It portrays the birth of the 13th amendment in the United States Constitution.

The credits do not only to Daniel Dan-Lewis’s impeccable acting, which made the viewers think he was the late president, but also to the production design and wardrobe for making the sets more realistic to history.

If you find documentaries boring, this film might change your mind.

3. In the Name of the Father (1993)

English 2h 13m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis In the Name of the Father (1993)

Director: Jim Sheridan

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite, Alison Crosbie

In the Name of the Father is based on a true story in 1974. It is about four people who were wrongly convicted for bombing Guildford pub. This incident is mainly known as the Guildford Four.

Gerry Conlon and the other three accused of the bombing were suspected of IRA. Gareth Peirce, the lawyer who will help Gerry be freed, faces challenges as she does her job.

This film shows Daniel Day-Lewis’s dedication to bringing the character to life. He chose to spend most of his days in the set’s jail cell and allowed the film crew members to abuse him like how the character he portrays experiences. He also lost 30 pounds to be more fitting for the role.

Watch the film and join the club of frustrated fans for Daniel not winning the Oscars.

4. My Left Foot (1989)

English 1h 43m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis My Left Foot (1989)

Director: Jim Sheridan

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan

Do you know how hard it is to act without using your body? Actors maximize their movements as much as possible to get messages to the viewers across.

Still, My Left Foot challenges Daniel Day-Lewis to act magnificently even with just using his mouth and left foot. This film is another biographical story about Christy Bown, who has cerebral palsy. Despite his condition, he still became a writer and a painter.

Although Daniel Day-Lewis can only master using his right foot for some scenes, he challenges himself to continue his role even during breaks. He will eat in the canteen with the help of other people to feed him.

These challenges might be why his performance in this film is so believable. He manifested the condition and became one with it.

5. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

English 2h 51m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

Director: Philip Kaufman

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Juliette Binoche, Lena Olin

Tomas is a Czech surgeon who has a very active sex life. On a business trip for an operation, he met Tereza, a waitress who captivated Tomas’s heart.

Tereza went with Tomas back to his home in Prague, unknowing that he was also pursuing a relationship with another woman, Sabina, but still developed a relationship with her. Follow their story as the Soviet Army invades their home.

If you had read The Unbearable Lightness of Being and have not watched the film, stop expecting it to be the same. Although the plot and characters are similar, the theme has a different take. The book focuses on the philosophy of the storyline, while the film focuses more on the sexual life of the main character.

The charms and different acting skills of the Daniel, Juliette, and Lena created a dynamic that builds an excellent portrayal of the story.

6. The Last Of The Mohicans (1992)

English 1h 52m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis The Last Of The Mohicans (1992)

Director: Michael Mann

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means

The Last of the Mohicans portrays the epic battle of the French and Indian war in 1757. Hawkeye and his brother Uncas are members of the Mohicans, a dying tribe and an ally of the British colony.

The story revolves around how the two rescue the kidnapped daughter of the British colonel as they get caught up in the war between the French and Indians.

Daniel Day-Lewis prepared for this film by living in the wilderness just like how his character would. He hunted for food and fished for months, even before the actual making of the film. Many people loved how accurate the scenes were and the narrative to the actual historical event.

If you are looking for an excellent portrayal of history, you must add this film to your bucket list. It is packed with action scenes of many generations ago and adventure.

7. Phantom Thread (2017)

English 2h 10m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis Phantom Thread (2017)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Stars: Vicky Krieps, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville

Phantom Thread shows what love can do to a person with a clear path ahead. Reynolds Woodcock is a well-known dressmaker who dresses royalties and other elites together with her sister.

No woman stayed with him for too long until he met Alma Elson, a waitress in the restaurant near where he remains. Alma became one of his muses, modeled his work, and soon became his lover.

This film makes people wonder how love works and how it can affect a human. Usually, people would stay away from a toxic relationships. However, sometimes, the toxicity is what they need as they deem it to be part of who they are. The journey in this movie brings tension to the viewers and, simultaneously, wonders.

The plot seems to lead to a conclusion, but the ending will still be a shocker as it hits hard.

8. Gangs of New York (2022)

English 2h 47m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis Gangs of New York (2022)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis

Gangs of New York adopted the story from the book with the same title written by Herbert Asbury, a journalist. It is about the beef between the Gangs of New York and the Irish.

Amsterdam, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, watched his father die in the middle of a riot between the two nationalities. He returned to the place to take revenge on William “The Butcher” Cutting, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who killed his father.

This movie is brutal in that it shows you the dark side of America in the era of the American Civil War. The production design and music scorers did fantastic jobs at setting the atmosphere to the late 1800s. Many people think that Daniel Dan-Lewis shined even brighter than Leonardo DiCaprio, who is supposedly the main star of this film.

9. The Age of Innocence (1993)

English 2h 19m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis The Age of Innocence (1993)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder

Have you ever been in love at the wrong time? You might relate to the story of The Age of Innocence. Newland Archer is a lawyer who is bound to marry May Welland. His future is already set ahead until one day, he meets Countess Ellen Olenska.

The countess is separated from his husband, who makes him question his love for his fiance. He defended her honor and supported her in her husband’s divorce while slowly falling in love with the countess.

This film is like wine. The better it ages, the better it gets. No matter how many times you watch the movie in many years, your perspective on it only gets better. The viewers are more occupied with how many rules they have broken and to follow.

Love can surely make you do things you know you are not supposed to.

10. My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

English 1h 37m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)

Director: Stephen Frears

Stars: Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Daniel Day-Lewis

My Beautiful Laundrette is a comedy-drama that shows compassion, love, family values, racism, and stereotypes. As Omar’s family moved to South London, his uncle trusted the young man to manage the laundrette.

He re-established his relationship with his childhood friend, Johnny, who became a fascist and leader of a racist gang. As Johnny turns his life around, the story will delve deeper into the social judgment these two will face.

The movie has subtle messages that might be hard to catch if you are not focused. However, it is worth noticing as some humor will make you chuckle. Meanwhile, Daniel Day-Lewis and Gordon Warnecke were amazing, portraying a character that is soft and strong at the same time.

How is it possible to see the chemistry brewing between two straight men?

11. A Room with a View (1985)

English 1h 57m IMDb
Daniel Day Lewis A Room with a View (1985)

Director: James Ivory

Stars: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott

Love versus Moral. This movie will show the oppression that a Victorian woman experiences. She must keep high standards and must be well-behaved. However, the desire was aflame when she met George during her stay in Florence.

Her Chaperone halted this flame after she caught them. As she returned to Surrey, she was engaged to Cecil. Not long after, George and Lucy crossed paths again. Will they continue the air brewing?

Daniel Dan-Lewis played a minor role of Cecil, who is a socialite and self-centered. Even though he is not the main focus, the viewers think that every character in the film is equally good. The viewers follow the plot rather than the character.

12. The Boxer (1997)

English 1h 53m IMDb Daniel Day Lewis The Boxer (1997)

Director: Jim Sheridan

Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Emily Watson, Daragh Donnelly

After his life in prison, Danny opted to live at peace away from IRA. He reconnected with his ex-girlfriend, who is now married to Danny’s best friend, that is still in prison. As he changed his life course, he opened a boxing club to train young people.

Harry, the leader of the IRA, disapproved of this and wanted to bring violence to Danny’s life. With a life full of turmoil, Maggie’s father doesn’t want her daughter to continue the relationship with Danny.

The story showed how a person could not simply escape life, especially if you have violence. Daniel Dan-Lewis trained for more than a year to prepare for this role in Ireland. This training makes his action scenes in the movie more believable and professional rather than just acting.



Daniel Day-Lewis is proven to be one of the best actors as he makes the viewers believe that the character he is portraying is not an act anymore. Be the judge of his remarkable acting skills in these 12 best Daniel Day Lewis (Ranked).

Impressive Daniel Day Lewis Movie

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