How does the name “Kevin Spacey” make you feel? Acting on the big screen is where Kevin shines. He has no issues playing diverse genres. He can even do creepy roles. Haven’t you watched any of his stunning acts yet? Check out our list of 10 best Kevin Spacey movies below.
Who is Kevin Spacey?
Are you a fan of a versatile performer? That’s Kevin Spacey! He is regarded as one of the best-known actors in the United States. It’s no wonder he’s won two Oscars.
For starters, Kevin was born in New Jersey. He was the third and youngest child. In his veins run Swedish and English blood. His father worked as a technical writer. So the family had to relocate frequently.
Kevin first tried his hand at acting in high school. He appeared in several school plays. Here’s more! He also showcased his ability to impersonate talents in comedy clubs.
Thanks to Kevin’s commanding presence onscreen! He has a slew of unforgettable characters. He goes all out in any role. Best of all? It comes off as very authentic.
Kevin’s acting career began in the theater in the 1980s. He started with a brief role in Heartburn in 1986. Can you guess what his role was? A subway burglar!
Kevin soon began to appear on television and in movies. He gained fame as a “character actor” on Wiseguy. He also played as a devious manager in a real estate office in Glengarry Glen Ross.
Here’s something interesting. Have you watched “The Usual Suspects?” That got him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Spacey’s film career has seen its share of bumps. His directorial debut was “Albino Alligator” in 1996. Whew! It ended up a terrible failure. How devastating that was for Kevin! He also had other films that flopped, like “Edison.”
But better days lay ahead. 1999 was a fantastic year for Kevin. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That was four days after “American Beauty” had its US premiere. The exciting part? He won Oscar’s Best Actor award.
Kevin’s career also expanded outside of the United States. He had served as artistic director of London’s Old Vic. That spans from 2004 until he resigned in 2015. What an exciting role he had! He excellently brought both British and American talents on stage.
Is a life shrouded in mystery alluring? Kevin chose privacy. However, he is not exempt from media scrutiny. His career started crashing down in 2017 due to charges of sexual misconduct.
10 Best Kevin Spacey Movies
1. American Beauty (1999)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch
This film features Kevin Spacey as Lester Burnham. It is a story of a man who is afraid of aging. He’s nobody in the eyes of those closest to him. Can he get a chance to find true love again? His daughter has no affection for him. His wife ignores him even more. At work, he feels equally undervalued.
The majority of reviews agree that the film is excellent. It has a profound effect on the lives of those who see it. It gives the viewers a taste of what life is like in the US. It is still one of the most comprehensive films of human dynamics ever. See if this movie also stirs images of the American dream.
Camera motions like arc shots have artistic significance. The music is also fantastic. Reviewers say it’s relevant and engaging. The casting is incredible. It is indeed one of a kind.
2. The Usual Suspects (1995)
English 1h 46m IMDb
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri
The story revolves around the interrogation of a small-time con artist named Roger. He is the only other survivor of a shipwreck. He also escaped a subsequent massacre in Los Angeles. He and four other crooks ended up aboard a boat. There they met a mysterious underworld leader. And things get more complex from there.
According to viewers, the movie is simply stunning. It deserves to be watched again and again. It’s one of the few recent films you could hardly find a flaw with. It will leave you awestruck with great filmmaking.
The film’s line-up scene is a classic. It’s not something you want to forget. There are some brilliant twists in the movie. There are also some dreadful ones.
It’s impossible to ignore Kevin’s brilliance as an actor here. He shows off his unique ability to portray a character with a complex backstory. It’s easy to see why he was awarded the prestigious Oscar for this magnificent work.
3. Se7en (1995)
English 2h 7m IMDb
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
The story follows the actions of a psychotic serial murderer. He uses the Seven Deadly Sins as a guide. See how warped his plan is! He selects seven victims who represent extreme examples of each of the sins. A veteran cop and a rookie investigator work together to catch the killer of these terrible murders.
Se7en is a gripping and spectacular film noir set in the post-modern world. It’s ominous and unsettling. But it’s also incredibly clever and adventurous. The stunning cinematography creates a spooky atmosphere. Acting throughout is likewise top-notch.
It’s fascinating to see how the director views different forms of crime and criminals. It’s one of those great flicks. There’s nothing to criticize since everything works.
The film makes you realize that there is no black or white. Nothing is entirely good or bad. There are just prejudiced sides in a world as vile as the killer himself. Se7en examines the murky zones in between.
4. L.A. Confidential (1997)
English 2h 18m IMDb
Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce
This film is for you if you’re up for a roller coaster ride. The crime drama takes place during the golden age of Hollywood in the 1950s. A homicide investigation involving three distinct police officers is particularly challenging. It will keep you on your toes till the very end.
Other viewers feel that it could have been a masterpiece. The ambiguous character portrayals ruin it. Watch it and see if you feel the same.
There are many twists and turns in the plot. The excellent performance of the cast is undeniable. However, the film jumps from scene to scene in the blink of an eye at the beginning. The “F” word is also overused.
Overall, it’s more than a good cop, bad cop story. It was a tale of two protagonists who stayed true to their core values and beliefs. Kevin Spacey re-captured the public’s heart again.
5. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
English 1h 40m IMDb
Director: James Foley
Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin
This is the story of four Chicago real estate agents. They’re willing to go to any measures to get their hands on unwanted properties. The movie depicts a Darwinian competition. You can see the sales associates provide a fantasy of possibility as a means of survival.
Do you like heavy action? It’s not the typical fast-action movie. You cannot see unbelievable stunts. There are no sexual scenes, weapons, or drugs involved either. But the storyline is intense. It’s a must-see for everyone who enjoys a good story. What it shows is how grim the world is.
This film has an outstanding ensemble cast. There are incredibly realistic settings and dialogue. Spacey’s naturalism in his acting is once again commendable.
A word of caution: there’s a lot of profanity in this. If vulgar language bothers you, you better skip it. The power of words is what draws some audiences to the end, though.
6. Swimming with Sharks (1994)
English 1h 33m IMDb
Director: George Huang
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes
Kevin Spacey is once again excellent in this film. He portrays himself as the evil boss. He treats his subordinates as if they were servants. This movie is worth seeing, even if only for Kevin’s performance.
But there’s also much more. Have you experienced problematic work relationships? There are lots of them in this story. It’s an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to work in the film industry. It’s a powerful depiction of Hollywood’s darker, more foul-mouthed side.
However, the story is riveting. You might not expect the twist at the ending. The film is supposedly a critical examination of the film industry’s inner workings. It’s a great movie if you’re looking for something to chuckle at. It’s also a must-see if you want to see a future legend in action.
For the average worker, this is a joy to witness. It’s a dark satirical comedy. Others have mistaken it for a light comedy.
7. Recount (2008)
English 1h 56m IMDb
Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Bob Balaban, Denis Leary
Recount is a fantastic depiction of the 2000 US presidential election. It sparks a Shakespearean-like tension. That challenge is effectively conveyed in this film. The movie tackles a heavy topic and presents it in a light-hearted manner. It provides as complete an account of the events as two hours would allow.
Ignoring the fact that you already know the ending is a challenge. Most of the public pronouncements in the film are taken directly from the record. Thus, it is clear that the film is based on actual events. The question isn’t about what happened behind closed doors. It’s about the interpretation of what happened.
This was a movie you couldn’t stop watching. It’s one of those few movies that can captivate viewers though they exactly know what’s going to happen. The performances were so compelling. The cast did an outstanding job throughout the entire film.
8. A Time to Kill (1996)
English 2h 29m IMDb
Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson
The story features one of Mississippi’s most challenging cases for a young attorney. The rape and beating of a black man’s 10-year-old daughter have enraged the black majority. The grieving father assassinates the two criminals in the courthouse.
Are you looking for an intense, star-studded film? Then this movie is the answer. Character, elegance, and grace characterized the actors’ performances. The actors did an excellent job portraying complex characters with depth and nuance.
This is a film on race relations in the United States. It shows the harshness of life and people. Racism and white privilege are all vividly depicted in this film.
The acting is outstanding, and every character is believable. The writer deserves credit for tackling a hot-button issue. But some say the piece should have been written more tactfully.
This film is worth seeing for the message it conveys. It had a sense of authenticity because of its understanding of the southern culture at the time.
9. The Life of David Gale (2003)
English 2h 10m IMDb
Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney
David Gale is a famous opponent of capital punishment. He found himself on death row in Texas. He was charged with killing a woman who was also against the death penalty. According to reviews, Kevin Spacey is perfect for the lead part.
The film is one of the most divisive in cinematic history. This story has the potential to enthuse others about the state of our society. It entices us to think about what justice is. Viewers said this film had a significant impact on their decision-making process.
It was a film full of tension and intrigue. It wasn’t just about taking your own life. The general public seemed to enjoy it. But reviewers tended to dislike it. It may be because critics may have disliked the anti-death penalty aspect.
This is not a movie for the faint-hearted. But if you see it, you’ll be a fan for life.
10. The Negotiator (1998)
English 2h 20m IMDb
Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse
The Negotiator tells the story of two police officers in Chicago. Kevin Spacey and Samuel Jackson performed these roles excellently. Their on-screen interaction is delightful to witness. The actors that fill in for the lead roles are also impressive.
What if the hostage negotiator becomes the hostage taker? Does that sound unbelievable? This extraordinary film delivers to that end. Some would say it’s hard to believe. It also shows how hard it is not sure who you can trust.
This movie features a mature plot twist. Are you a fan of fast-paced stories? You’ll see a lot of tension, badges, and radio talks. Prepare to get hooked to the very end. But you won’t regret watching it. The ending is fantastic. It’s one of those movies you can watch again and again. And you feel like the ending will change each time.
Kevin Spacey has carved out a name for himself in the movie industry. Everyone knows him as a brilliant actor. Do you miss him seeing him onscreen? Listed above are the 10 best Kevin Spacey movies you may want to check. You’ll understand why many people think his films are worth watching.