When the tragic news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death hit, I was in as much shock and disbelief as anyone else. He was an unbelievable actor and one of my personal favorites. As with most celebrity deaths, the social media soon began to remember the star and discuss their favorite moments or roles of his. To my shock, at one point the top trending post on Twitter was Along Came Polly. I’m not bashing Along Came Polly, but if Hoffman is to be defined by a single film, that’s not the one. I started thinking about it and realized that a lot of younger or casual movie watchers probably haven’t seen the majority of his films. I mean if Along Came Polly is the first movie they thought of when hearing his name, then clearly they haven’t explored his other roles. Instead of mocking them, I thought it would be more helpful to help them or anyone who hasn’t seen many of his movies. Hopefully a lot of these are obvious to you, but if there are any you haven’t seen, I would recommend watching them immediately.
I have never been so glued to the screen like I was the first time I watched Doubt. It’s like a clinic on superb acting. You owe it to yourself to see it.
If you want to see a group of top-notch actors giving some of the most brilliant performances of their careers all in one place, this is it. Hoffman is no exception.
3. Synecdoche, New York
Charlie Kaufman is one of the most creative and ambitious filmmakers working today, so combining him with Hoffman is nothing short of a dream come true.
4. The Savages
The combination of Laura Linney and Hoffman could make any film fantastic. Fortunately the script and directing are just as good, so it makes for a great movie watching experience.
Out of his dramas, this is probably the most popular among casual viewers, but if you missed his Oscar winning performance, you almost have to see it. It should be illegal not to watch it.
6. The Master
There’s a reason he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Lancaster Dodd in 2012 drama. He was truly remarkable.
7. Charlie Wilson’s War
Hoffman holds his own on-screen next to Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Ned Beatty in a movie about the Cold War that figures out a way to be, not only smart, but also funny.
8. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
It’s unbelievable that this didn’t get a nomination for Best Picture in 2007, as it’s one of the most haunting thrillers in recent memory.
9. Almost Famous
Cameron Crowe’s beautiful film came out in my early 20’s, so it was one of those movies that I HAD to see. Now, thirteen years removed, it may have slipped through the cracks for some younger moviegoers. It holds up perfectly and is nothing short of brilliant.
10. The 25th Hour
I honestly don’t think I know anyone else who has seen this movie. I’m not the biggest Spike Lee fan, but Hoffman’s performance, along with Edward Norton and Rosario Dawson make it poignant and heartbreaking.
11. The Big Lebowski
I feel silly for recommending this as a movie you haven’t seen, but, if by some chance you haven’t seen it, you should correct that as soon as possible.
12. Mission Impossible 3
I know it was a blockbuster, but a lot of movie snobs may have overlooked it as just another popcorn flick. While the plot is familiar, Hoffman creates one of the most sinister and terrifying villains you’ll ever see.
13. The Talented Mr. Ripley
Hoffman embraces a perfect supporting role as Matt Damon gives the darkest and most uncharacteristic performance of his career. It’s thrilling to watch the duo, along with Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow, in one of the most underrated movies of the ‘90s.