When it comes to picking a movie for a night in, we all have our own tried and trusted methods that we use for sorting through all the potential options.
Some people focus on their preferred movie genre, others opt for films made by their favorite director, and still others go for movies that feature their favorite actors.
The latter (i.e., actors that appear in any given film) shouldn't be overlooked, even if you don't have favorites.
After all, nine times out of ten whether or not a movie is good depends on the actors' abilities. If they're talented and know what they're doing, even the most mediocre of films will be watchable.
If, on the other hand, they lack finesse, the movie could have the most enthralling of plots yet it still won't hold our attention.
Christian Bale made his acting debut more than 30 years ago, all the way back in 1987 when he landed the role of Jim 'Jamie' Graham in Steven Spielberg's war movie Empire of the Sun. Known for his method acting style, Bale has since appeared in The Machinist, Batman Begins (and its sequels), and Vice (Wikipedia).
The talented Hollywood actor Tom Holland is best known for portraying Spider-Man in the enthralling Marvel Cinematic Universe. To date, he has been featured in four MCU films, including Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, and Captain America: Civil War. Furthermore, later this year he is due to star in Spider-Man: Far From Home (Wikipedia).
The Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp rose to prominence in the 80s when he bagged the role of Tom Hanson in the once very famous police procedural TV series 21 Jump Street. He instantly became a teen idol. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the world's most successful actors, according to Wikipedia.
Sandra Bullock made her breakthrough in the early 90s when she landed a role in the 1994 action thriller Speed. While Yo Were Sleeping, The Net, and Hope Floats are some other films she starred in during the decade. In the 2000s she was featured in Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice and in the 2010s she appeared in Bird Box and Ocean's 8 (Wikipedia).
Venom, Legend, Warrior, The Dark Knight Rises, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception, Bronson, Lawless, Dunkirk, and Black Dawk Down are just some of the movies that you'd come across if you glanced at Tom Hardy's extensive filmography. Wondering what he's up to now? According to Wikipedia, later this year he'll star as Al Capone in the biographical crime film Fonzo.
According to Wikipedia, Julia Roberts became a Hollywood star after she was cast as Vivian Ward in the 1990 romantic comedy Pretty Woman. Interestingly enough, Roberts recently revealed that the iconic movie most of us grew up with was originally supposed to be titled 3000. Moreover, it had a much grittier ending but luckily the original production company went bust and the script went to Disney (News).
Samuel L. Jackson?
It was in the 90s that the skilled actor Samuel L. Jackson first came to prominence. Back then he was featured in films such as Patriot Games, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Jurassic Park, Django Unchained, and Jackie Brown among others. Nowadays he is perhaps best known for portraying Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Wikipedia).
Keanu Reeves is a truly versatile actor which is why it's a pity that for much of his later professional life he's been typecast (as someone who saves the world). Over the years, Reeves has appeared in Speed, Point Break, The Devil's Advocate, Constantine, and of course, The Matrix series as well as the John Wick franchise (Wikipedia).
Jurassic Park, The Fly, Thor: Ragnarok, Independence Day, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and The Mountain are some of the films you might have glimpsed Jeff Goldblum in. If you're into binge-watching TV shows, you might have also recognized him in the later seasons of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Wikipedia).
Robert Downey Jr.?
Robert Downey Jr. was a mere child when he first began acting in the early 70s. He was successful even then although he took a break from acting in the 90s due to his inability to control his addiction to various substances. He managed to overcome his bad habits and is today known as one of the highest-grossing stars of all time (Wikipedia).
Like so many other famous Hollywood A-listers, Kristen Stewart also began her professional life as an actress when she was just a child. However, it was not until the late 2000s that she gained wider recognition. As most people should have no difficulty recalling, it was in 2008 that Stewart bagged the role of Bella Swan in the famous The Twilight Saga movie series (Wikipedia).
Before Ryan Reynolds was known for his work on the big screen, he was famous for starring in Two Guys and a Girl, a TV series in which he played the role of Michael Bergen. Later, he went on to appear in movies such as National Lampoon's Van Wilder, The Proposal, and Blade: Trinity (Wikipedia).
According to Wikipedia, Scarlett Johansson wanted to work in the film industry from a young age. Her dream came true: Nowadays she is known as the world's highest-paid actress. Having made her feature film debut in the 1994 comedy drama adventure film North, she has since appeared in Avengers: Endgame, Lucy, Lost in Translation, and Don Jon.
When most people see Chris Evans they can't help but think of his superhero roles. That makes perfect sense. After all, he plays the role of Steve Rogers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Moreover, he was also cast as the Human Torch in the 2005 Fantastic Four and its sequel, the 2007 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Wikipedia).
Amber Heard made her big screen debut just over a decade ago, in 2004, in the sports drama film Friday Night Lights. Her breakthrough came about four years later, in 2008, when she found herself cast not in one but in two successful movies: Never Back Down and Pineapple Express. Of course, today she's best known for her problematic marriage to the Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp (Wikipedia).
Just Go With It, Grown Ups, Blended, Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, Billy Madison, 50 First Dates, Click, and The Wedding Singer are some of the movies that the comedian Adam Sandler has been featured in over the years. Not all of the movies that he has appeared in have been successful though. For example, the comedy Jack and Jill (which he wrote and produced, not to mention starred in) was criticized and won him quite a few Golden Raspberry Awards (Wikipedia).
Charlize Theron rose to fame in the late 90s which is when she starred in films such as Mighty Joe Young, The Devil's Advocate, and The Cider House Rules. She has since starred in quite a few top-grossing action movies, including Mad Max: Fury Road, Atomic Blonde, and The Fate of the Furious (Wikipedia).
Jamie Dornan has appeared both on the big screen and the little screen. In terms of the big screen, most of us can't help but associate him with his role as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades movie franchise. In terms of the little screen, he has been featured in Once Upon a Time and The Fall (Wikipedia).
Before Chris Pratt achieved leading man status (and bagged the role of Star-Lord in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) in Hollywood, he was best known for his TV work. In particular, he was associated with his role as Andy Dwyer in the popular NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation which was on air between 2009 and 2015.
According to Wikipedia, Ryan Gosling began acting in the early 90s. However, it took him almost a decade to achieve well-deserved fame. Indeed, it wasn't until 2004, which is when he bagged the leading role of Noah in the romantic drama film The Notebook (that also featured Rachel McAdams), that he achieved recognition.
The 2007 coming-of-age teen comedy film Superbad was Emma Stone's film debut whereas the 2010 teen comedy Easy A was her first starring role (and ultimately, her breakthrough). She has since appeared in La La Land, Birdman, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Favorite, The Help, and Crazy, Stupid, Love according to Wikipedia.
Few people know that Bruce Willis began his professional life as an actor starring in off-Broadway stage productions all the way back in the 70s. He first achieved fame in the mid 80s when he was cast in the very popular comedy drama series Moonlighting. According to Wikipedia, he has since starred in more than 70 movies, most of which were action films.
Emily Blunt made her acting debut more than a decade ago, all the way back in 2001 (she starred in a stage production). Two years later, in 2003, she appeared in a TV film and a miniseries and in 2004 she made her feature film debut (in the drama My Summer of Love). Recently, she was featured in A Quiet Place (alongside her husband John Krasinski) and Mary Poppins Returns (Wikipedia).
Walk the Line, Gladiator, Her, The Master, Signs, Mary Magdalene, The Sisters Brothers, Inherent Vice, Parenthood, We Own the Night, and The Immigrant are some of the films that Joaquin Phoenix has appeared in over the course of his long professional life as an actor. Later this year he is due to star in the much anticipated film Joker (Wikipedia).
Whether you love her or dislike her, you can't deny that Brie Larson is a talented actress. Nowadays she is best known for playing the role of Carol Danvers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (thus far she has starred in two MCU movies, Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel according to Wikipedia).
Owen Wilson made his film debut in the late 90s, in Wes Anderson's crime comedy film Bottle Rocket. Later, he helped Anderson write his next two directorial films, The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore (Wikipedia). To date, he has appeared in as many as seven Anderson's movies according to Business Insider.
At the start of his professional life as an actor, Jesse Eisenberg starred in The Emperor's Club, The Squid and the Whale, The Village, and The Education of Charlie Banks. In 2009, he bagged starring roles in Adventureland and Zombieland, thus making his breakthrough. He has since appeared in The Social Network, Cafe Society, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Wikipedia).
It was in the early 2000s, or to be somewhat more specific in 2002, that Rachel McAdams made her Hollywood film debut. Two years later, in 2004, she bagged a leading role in two successful movies: Mean Girls (which has since developed a serious cult following) and The Notebook (Wikipedia).
According to Wikipedia, Bill Murray first came to prominence for starring on Saturday Night Live. Later, he appeared in a number of comedies, including Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Meatballs. In the early 2000s he tried his hand at playing more dramatic roles. For example, in 2003 he was cast in Lost in Translation alongside Scarlett Johansson.
The role of Michael Kelso in Fox's That '70s Show was Ashton Kutcher's first acting role. A year after he bagged this role he was cast in his first movie, the 1999 romantic comedy Coming Soon. Then, in 2000, he was featured in the extremely successful stoner comedy Dude, Where's My Car? and the rest is history (Wikipedia).
According to Wikipedia, Eddie Redmaybe began his professional life as an actor in West End theatre. In 1998, he made a guest TV appearance in Animal Ark (which was his screen debut) and in 2006 he made his film debut in the thriller film Like Minds. Today, he is busy playing Newt Scamander in the popular Fantastic Beasts film series.
Matt Damon achieved recognition in the late 90s (in 1997, to be exact) when he co-wrote and starred in the drama film Good Will Hunting. He has starred in countless successful films to date. However, most of us link him to his role as Jason Bourne in the Bourne franchise (Wikipedia).
If you glance at John Malkovich's filmography you'll come across films such as Being John Malkovich, Con Air, Of Mice and Men, Dangerous Liaisons, RED, Burn After Reading, Rounders, and In the Line of Fire. But Malkovich is not just an actor. He's also a producer responsible for movies such as Juno, Ghost World, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Wikipedia).
It was in 2008 that Jennifer Lawrence made her film debut with a supporting role in the drama movie Garden Party. Two years later, in 2010, she made her breakthrough (she played the lead role in the mystery drama film Winter's Bone) and a year after that she rose to fame for portraying Mystique or Raven Darkhölme in X-Men. She cemented this fame with her role as Katniss Everdeen in the popular the Hunger Games movie series (Wikipedia).
According to Wikipedia, Timothée Chalamet contended himself with short films at the start of his professional life before he was featured in the drama TV series Homeland in 2012. He made his feature film debut two years later, in 2014, in the movie Men, Women & Children and was then cast in Interstellar. To date he has been featured in Lady Bird, Hostiles, and Call Me by Your Name.