Actors bring movies to life. That may seem like an obvious statement, but when you really think about, none of the story matters unless the people playing the characters can carry it off. Some actors are just able to put all of themselves into a role and truly inhabit the person they are playing. These actors can elevate the content of any film and make it great. Sometimes they disappear into a role, other times the role is written specifically to suit their particular personality. Either way, great actors make great movies. It's just that simple.
Of course, trying to pick out your favorite actor isn't always easy. After all, there are so many great performers in Hollywood that it's honestly sometimes difficult to remember all of them. However, there's a certain sense of happiness when you find out that an actor you love is taking on a role in an exciting upcoming film. It feels like getting to watch an old friend do something brand new, and that can be something that you really look forward to. It's the kind of thing that keeps you going back to the theater week after week!
Take a look at these famous actors and pick which one you like better. At the end, we'll give you a suggestion for which movie to watch!
Chris Hemsworth or Keanu Reeves?
First up, it's Chris Hemsworth against Keanu Reeves. Hemsworth is probably best known for his role as Captain Kirk's father in Star Trek. Just kidding. Obviously, he is best known as the god of thunder himself, Thor in the MCU films. Hemsworth has made the role his own and has even taken the character in a more comedic direction. Keanu Reeves got his start playing a boneheaded high school student who just wanted to rock out, but he soon moved on to bigger and better roles.
Keanu Reeves or Benedict Cumberbatch?
Keanu Reeves might have started off in the Bill and Ted movies, but the roles he took on later were much more action-oriented (that's, of course, not counting his work in period pieces like Bram Stoker's Dracula and Much Ado About Nothing). His most famous role is probably as Neo in The Matrix trilogy, and he currently stars in the John Wick films as the titular hitman. Benedict Cumberbatch, on the other hand, has also dipped his toes in many different types of roles.
Benedict Cumberbatch or Channing Tatum?
Benedict Cumberbatch gained a lot of popularity for his portrayal of a modern day Sherlock Holmes in the BBC show Sherlock. However, he has most recently been thrust into an even greater spotlight by playing Doctor Strange in the MCU (his Watson, Martin Freeman, would also end up playing a character in the MCU). Cumberbatch also provided the voice, as well as motion capture, for the dragon Smaug in the Hobbit films. Channing Tatum has also played roles that span several different genres.
Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling?
Channing Tatum has appeared in a number of different roles in all kinds of film genres. His first big break came from his extensive dancing experience, which helped him land the lead role in Step Up. From there, he transitioned into action films as well as a few romantic dramas and comedies. He finally got to show off his comedy chops in the film 21 Jump Street, as well as its sequel, 22 Jump Street. Ryan Gosling has also appeared in an eclectic collection of films.
Ryan Gosling or Dwayne Johnson?
Ryan Gosling has demonstrated that he is unafraid to approach any type of role that might come his way. The role that put him on the map, of course, was in The Notebook, where he appeared opposite Rachel McAdams. Since then, he has branched out into bigger and more interesting projects, including playing astronaut Neil Armstong in First Man and an unnamed getaway driver in the modern crime film, Drive. Dwayne Johnson has also branched out since his early days in the WWE.
Dwayne Johnson or Bradley Cooper?
Dwayne Johnson, once known as The Rock obviously got his start as an entertainer in the WWE, where he quickly became one of the most recognizable and famous wrestlers in the world. His acting got off to a rocky (no pun intended) start with appearances in some forgettable films, but he has since bloomed into the most bankable movie star in the world due to his action bona fides and charisma. He's up against another very talented actor who's become a real star: Bradley Cooper.
Bradley Cooper or Adam Sandler?
Bradley Cooper has quickly made a name for himself as a talented actor to watch, and he has even moved into the realm of directing with A Star is Born, in which he also co-starred alongside Lady Gaga. Cooper first made a name for himself appearing in the Hangover films, and has now also moved into the realm of superheroes as well: he provides the voice of Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. He's up against the classic funny guy Adam Sandler.
Adam Sandler or Jim Carrey?
Adam Sandler first made a name for himself as one of the breakout stars on Saturday Night Live, where he played classic characters like Opera Man and one of the Gap girls. From there, he transitioned into a series of successful comedy films that made him a star, including Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and Big Daddy. Sandler is up against Jim Carrey, another major movie star who got his start playing in silly comedies. Both actors eventually got more serious with their work.
Jim Carrey or Hugh Jackman?
Jim Carrey started out as an unconventional stand-up comedian, one who could contort his faces into all manner of strange looks. He got his first big break as a cast member on In Living Color. From there, he transitioned into starring roles in films like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask. Later on in his life, he took more serious roles in films like The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. How does he compare to Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman?
Hugh Jackman or Mark Wahlberg?
As mentioned previously, Hugh Jackman is mostly known for the role that made him famous, and which he played for almost 20 years: Wolverine in the X-Men films. Jackman made the role his own and showed the world that he could be a star. On top of that role, he has also worked in more musical projects such as Les Miserables and his own pet project, The Greatest Showman. He's facing off against another actor who has worked in both music and film: Mark Wahlberg.
Mark Wahlberg or Daniel Radcliffe?
Mark Wahlberg first made a name for himself as a rapper in his group Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch. He easily made the transition into acting and started getting bigger and better roles. He really hit it big with appearances in films like The Perfect Storm, The Departed, and Shooter. He has also branched out into comedic roles in films like The Other Guys, Ted, and Daddy's Home. He's up against Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, who also has an impressive resume.
Daniel Radcliffe or Robert Downey Jr.?
Daniel Radcliffe, of course, is best known for his extensive work in the Harry Potter series of films, as the titular character at the center of everything. These films put Radcliffe on the map, but he was no mere child actor. As he grew up, his acting chops matured with him, and he began appearing in more mature roles on stage and on film. He's up against Robert Downey Jr., another actor who has made (or remade) a name for himself in a signature role.
Robert Downey Jr. or Charlie Hunnam?
Robert Downey Jr. started out acting in films in the eighties and nineties, where he appeared in works like Weird Science, Less Than Zero, and Chaplin. He fell out of favor in Hollywood due to some legal trouble, but eventually came roaring back when he landed the biggest role of his life: Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Downey Jr. has played the role for ten years now, and truly made it his own. He's up against Charlie Hunnam, who has taken on a number of roles that showcase his wide acting talent.
Charlie Hunnam or Tom Hiddleston?
Charlie Hunnam has been acting for a long time, but he really rose to prominence with his role as Jax Teller on the FX show Sons of Anarchy. There, he showed that he could lead a TV ensemble and imbue a role with a Shakespearian sense of tragedy. Since then, he has gone on to appear in bigger projects like The Lost City of Z, Pacific Rim, and Triple Frontier. He's up against Tom Hiddleston, who made a name for himself as a trickster God.
Tom Hiddleston or Idris Elba?
Tom Hiddleston is a very talented actor who has appeared in projects like The Night Manager, High-Rise, and Kong: Skull Island. However, his most notable and famous role is probably that of Thor's half-brother Loki in the MCU. As Loki, Hiddleston was the main threat in The Avengers, and played a pivotal role in the rest of the films that followed, becoming the MCU's most popular villain. He's up against Idris Elba, who has also played a role in the MCU, but can switch seamlessly between heroes and villains.
Idris Elba or Tom Hardy?
Idris Elba is the kind of actor who can be great as either the hero of a film or the villain. He made a name for himself when he appeared as Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire. Since then, he has appeared in bigger projects like Pacific rim and several films in the MCU as Heimdall, one of the guardians of Asgard. He will also be playing the villain in the upcoming Hobbs & Shaw spin-off of the Fast & Furious franchise. He's up against another actor who has played heroes and villains, Tom Hardy.
Tom Hardy or Oscar Isaac?
Tom Hardy is the kind of guy who really slips into any role he is given. He has worked with Christopher Nolan on three separate occasions, appearing in Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Dunkirk. He also took on the mantle of Mad Max in the long-awaited sequel Fury Road, where he was able to give a memorable performance despite hardly having any lines. He most recently appeared as the Marvel anti-hero Venom. He's up against another versatile actor, Oscar Isaac.
Oscar Isaac or Mark Hamill?
Oscar Isaac is the kind of actor who seems to come out of nowhere. He first rose to prominence with his role in Drive, and got to lead an ensemble cast after that in the Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis, where he played a beleaguered folk singer just trying to make it in the music industry. His biggest role to date is playing Poe Dameron in the new Star Wars trilogy. He's facing off against another Star Wars heavy hitter: Mark Hamill.
Mark Hamill or Vin Diesel?
Mark Hamill is practically a living legend. He got his start playing the lead role in what would become the basis for one of the most successful film franchises of all time: Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, a role he is still playing to this day. In his later years, Hamill moved seamlessly into voice acting, where he famously played the Joker in almost every animated iteration of Batman. He's up against Vin diesel, another star who has done a bit of voice acting.
Vin Diesel or Colin Firth?
Vin Diesel is probably most well-known for his recurring role of Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious films. There, he plays a fast-driving tough guy who would do anything for his family. He is also known for his role as Riddick in Pitch Black and its sequels. Most recently, Vin Diesel has lent his voice to the MCU, playing the tree-like alien Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. He's going up against Colin Firth, who has taken on a number of varying roles.
Colin Firth or Ben Affleck?
Colin Firth is a respectable actor who has played roles in numerous films across many genres. One of his most notable roles was one for which he wan on Oscar: King George VI in The King's Speech. He has also appeared in other dramatic films like A Single Man and the spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Lately, he has been having a lot of fun appearing in the Kingsman films as Agent Galahad. He's up against another versatile performer: Ben Affleck.
Ben Affleck or Daniel Craig?
Ben Affleck got his big breakout role in Dazed and Confused, where he played a high school jock by the name of O'Bannon. After that, he appeared in Mallrats, and continued to work with Kevin Smith on other film projects. As time went on, Affleck started to take on more serious roles, and eventually found his way behind the camera where he directed films like Gone, Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo. He's up against Daniel Craig, an actor who has made a name for himself in a signature role.
Daniel Craig or Denzel Washington?
Daniel Craig was not widely known to audiences in the United States before his star-making turn as James Bond in Casino Royale. Before that, he had a supporting role in Steven Spielberg's Munich, as well as one in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. However, it was his role as the famous secret agent that really brought him to prominence. He has played Bond in four films and is set to appear in another. He's up against Denzel Washington, no stranger to action-packed films himself.
Denzel Washington or Chadwick Boseman?
Denzel Washington is a consummate professional in the world of acting. He has played a number of eclectic roles, including historical figures like Malcolm X and Frank Lucas. He has also played hard-edged law enforcement professionals like Detective Alonzo Harris in Training Day, a role which won him an Academy Award. Washington has also appeared in more theatrical works, such as when he played Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing. He's up against the Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman.
Chadwick Boseman or Matt Damon?
Chadwick Boseman is obviously best known for his portrayal of King T'Challa, aka Black Panther in the MCU, but he has also played some other significant roles. Most notably, Boseman has played a number of real-life figures, including baseball player Jackie Robinson, legendary soul singer James Brown, and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. However, Black Panther is the role that brought Boseman to prominence with most audiences. He's up against an actor who also has experience as a writer: Matt Damon.
Matt Damon or Chris Pratt?
Matt Damon got his start in the film industry with Good Will Hunting, a critically-acclaimed film that he not only starred in, but also co-wrote with his longtime friend, Ben Affleck. The pair won the Academy Award for original screenplay, and it was really the jumping-off point for them. Damon got his biggest break playing Jason Bourne in the Bourne series of films about a spy who has forgotten who he is. He's up against an actor who started off in TV before moving into blockbusters: Chris Pratt.
Chris Pratt or John Krasinski?
Chris Pratt had a few small roles in films that were not seen by a lot of people before landing what would become the role that launched him into fame: Andy on Parks and Recreation. Pratt played the adorably dumb character in every season, even while he was transitioning into films. He went through a major physical change from playing his schlubby TV character to getting into amazing shape for his movie roles, which include Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. He's up against another Tv actor turned movie star: John Krasinski.
John Krasinski or Tom Holland?
John Krasinski got his big break playing Jim on The Office. He was perfect in the role, and imbued with a sort of everyman charm that really got people on board with him. Like some of his contemporaries, Krasinski made the transition from television into film, and even started directing as well. He made a big splash recently with his first foray into the horror genre, A Quiet Place, in which he starred with his wife, Emily Blunt. He's up against a relative newcomer: Tom Holland.
Tom Holland or Peter Dinklage?
Tom Holland may be young, but he's already making a big splash in the film industry. Prior to landing what is definitely the biggest role of his life, Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the MCU, Holland had a number of smaller roles, mostly in films coming out of England. He first swung onto screens as the web-slinger in Captain America: Civil War, where his motormouthed version of the hero quickly became a hit with audiences. He's up against another actor who has made a big impression with his work: Peter Dinklage.
Peter Dinklage or Jeremy Renner?
Peter Dinklage has had a number of truly great roles throughout his life. From his work in dramas like The Station Agent to comic book films like X-Men: Days of Future Past and even Avengers: Infinity War, Dinklage always imbues his parts with a signature personality. Of course, his most well-known role might be Tyrion Lannister in the epic HBO fantasy drama, Game of Thrones. Dinklage has won three Emmys and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the character. He's up against Hawkeye himself, Jeremy Renner.
Jeremy Renner or John Cho?
Jeremy Renner is a versatile star who has appeared in at least three major film franchises. He is, as previously mentioned, a major player in the MCU, where he plays Hawkeye, a hero who is adept at using a bow and arrow to take out powerful enemies. He was also featured in a film meant to reboot the Bourne series where he would play the new lead character. On top of that, he appeared in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. He's up against John Cho.
John Cho or Christian Bale?
John Cho got his first big break in the comedy film Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, but since then he has stepped into a number of bigger and better roles. One of the roles he has taken on so well is that of Sulu in the new Star Trek films. Cho has also appeared in films like the unconventional "screen thriller" Searching, and the quiet drama, Columbus. He is up against an actor who always tests the limits of the parts he plays: Christian Bale.
Christian Bale or Anthony Mackie?
Christian Bale is an actor that always pushes himself for his roles. He famously lost a massive amount of weight when played a destitute insomniac in the Machinist, then quickly gained a large amount of muscle for probably his most famous role: Batman in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. He won an Oscar for his role as Dicky Eklund in the boxing biopic, The Fighter. He is going up against another superhero actor who has branched out into some interesting roles: Anthony Mackie.
Anthony Mackie or Will Smith?
Anthony Mackie is probably most well-known for his current role as Sam Wilson aka Falcon in the MCU. He made his first appearance as the character in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and has since been an indispensable part of the Avengers team. Before this role, he appeared in films such as The Adjustment Bureau and The Hurt Locker (where he co-starred with fellow Avenger Jeremy Renner). He also played Tupac Shakur in Notorious. He's up against a man who has worked in music TV and film: Will Smith.
Will Smith or Jonah Hill?
Will Smith first made a name for himself as a rapper known as The Fresh Prince, which later became the basis for his famous TV show, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. From there, Smith moved into starring in films, including major 90s hits like Independence Day and Men In Black. In his later years, Smith has taken on more serious roles, but will soon be appearing as the genie in the upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin. He's up against comedic actor Jonah Hill.
Jonah Hill or Henry Cavill?
Jonah Hill started out in more comedic roles, and really broke out in films produced by Judd Apatow. He played one of the main characters in Superbad, cementing his status as a hilarious comedic presence (he also flexed his comedy muscles in the Jump Street films). He has recently moved into more dramatic roles which have garnered him Academy Award nominations, including one for The Wolf of Wall Street and one for Moneyball. He is going up against another super actor: Henry Cavill.
Henry Cavill or Kit Harington?
Henry Cavill made his breakthrough in America when he was cast as Superman in Man of Steel. He went on to play the role in two other films: Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. More recently, he has taken on roles in other action films, such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Cavill's profile has been growing larger as he has shown the world what he can do on film. He's up against Game of Thrones star Kit Harington.
Kit Harington or Robert Pattinson?
Kit Harington might be best known to audiences as Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones. Over eight years, fans have watched Jon Snow go from being a Night's Watch recruit, to becoming Lord Commander, to being betrayed by his mean and being brought back to life, to returning to Winterfell to take it back and being declared King in the North. Needless to say, the guy has been through a lot. He's going up against Robert Pattinson, who has done quite a bit better since the end of Twilight.
Robert Pattinson or Jared Leto?
Robert Pattinson made a name for himself playing Edward in the Twilight series of films, in which he co-starred with Kristen Stewart. Since the end of that saga, both actors have gone on to star in more interesting projects. Pattinson himself has appeared in works like David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis and the new science fiction film High Life. He also delivered an acclaimed turn in the crime film Good times. He's going up against another actor who has pushed his own limits: Jared Leto.
Jared Leto or Jason Bateman?
Jared Leto is a man of many talents. Along with being the front man for his band 30 Seconds To Mars, Leto has also spent decades in front of the camera. He got his first big break when he played Jordan Catalano on the short-lived but beloved teen drama My So-Called Life. He went on to play his breakout role in Requiem For A Dream, which marked him as a talented actor to watch. He won an Oscar for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. He's facing off against Jason Bateman.
Jason Bateman or Daniel Day-Lewis?
Jason Bateman has had a truly eclectic life of acting. His most famous role might be as Michael Bluth on the hilarious and critically-acclaimed sitcom Arrested Development, but he has also appeared in other great projects like Bad Words, Game Night, and the Netflix crime drama Ozark. Bateman is known for his recognizable voice, which he put to great use playing Nick Wilde, a cunning fox in the animated Disney film, Zootopia. He's going up against a modern legend of acting: Daniel Day-Lewis.
Daniel Day-Lewis or Paul Rudd?
Daniel Day-Lewis is an absolute force to be reckoned with when it comes to the world of acting. The man has won three Oscars for his incredible performances, and every time he appears in a film he seems to fully inhabit the character that he is playing. He has played a variety of people from an overly driven oil prospector to Abraham Lincoln. His acting talent is practically unmatched, and he chooses his projects very carefully. He's up against the freewheeling Paul Rudd.
Paul Rudd or Michael B. Jordan?
Paul Rudd is the kind of actor who has a very casual way about him. Every character he plays seems to be the kind of person that would be really fun to hang out with. He got his big break in Clueless, and since then he has gone on to play a variety of lovable guys in films like I Love You, Man, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Role Models. He also appears as Ant-Man in the MCU. He's up against another charismatic actor: Michael B. Jordan.
Michael B. Jordan or Steve Carell?
Michael B. Jordan made a name for himself with a role in The Wire. He played Wallace, a young kid who was trying to make a better life for himself, but ended up being taken out by bad people. He continued to boost his profile with roles in Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, before moving into films and working with frequent collaborator Ryan Coogler. He made a big impression playing the villain Killmonger in Black Panther. He's up against Michael Scott himself: Steve Carell.
Steve Carell or Bill Murray?
Steve Carell is a comedy legend at this point. He made a name for himself first playing a correspondent on The Daily show then playing Brick in the absolutely hilarious Anchorman. After that, he became a household name playing annoying manager Michael Scott on NBC's The Office. He has appeared in a number of comedic films but has also moved into more serious territory, receiving an Oscar nomination for his role in Foxcatcher. He's up against a certified comedy legend: Bill Murray
Bill Murray or Tom Cruise?
Bill Murray started out as a cast member on Saturday Night Live all the way back in the 1970s, and he quickly made the transition into comedy films. He has starred in timeless comedies such as Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day. He has retained a level of mystique about himself but still loves to play comedic parts. He made a surprise appearance playing himself in Zombieland, and provided the voice of Baloo in the updated The Jungle Book. He's facing off against Tom Cruise.
Tom Cruise or Samuel L. Jackson?
Tom Cruise is yet another actor who has become astronomically famous in his time on screen. His first big roles came in the 80s hits Risky Business and Top Gun. From there, his roles only got bigger and bigger, eventually leading to the role that would continue on to this day: Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible. Now, Tom Cruise is known for performing his own awe-inspiring stunts in those films, including clinging to the side of a plane as it takes off. He's up against Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson or Harrison Ford?
If ever there was an actor with a prolific list of projects, it's got to be Samuel L., Jackson. The legendary actor has appeared in so many films that it would be far too time-consuming to count them all. His biggest roles would have to be as Jules in Pulp Fiction and Nick Fury in the MCU films. However, the rest of his portfolio should not be discounted. Jackson has appeared in almost every Quentin Tarantino film in one way or another. He's up against Harrison Ford.
Harrison Ford or Bruce Willis?
Harrison Ford is an absolute legend in Hollywood. Not only has he played a lead role in two of the biggest franchises in film history, but he has also put his acting talents toward a number of memorable action movies. Of course, he is best known for his roles as Han Solo in Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Both movies find the actor using his easy charm and charisma to imbue the characters with an easy cool factor. He's up against another major action star: Bruce Willis.
Bruce Willis or Tom Hanks?
Bruce Willis first hit the big screen in Die Hard, a project that to this day stands as one of the greatest movies ever made. His performance is part of what made it so great, and he continued to bring that same attitude to all of his roles. Tom Hanks is also another screen legend, one who has appeared in a number of films over almost four decades. He has won two Oscars and appeared in some of the greatest films of all time.