Missed or Forgotten: Johnny Depp

THE SETUP: He isn’t just Captain Jack Sparrow. Yes, this is how he made the majority of his money and won the hearts of children everywhere…but is it acting or just going for over-the-top? Don’t get me wrong, the first Pirates of the Carribean was brilliant. Still is. But the man use to be known for non-commercial, out of the box kind of movies that really snuck up on you. When I reviewed the latest Pirates movie, I recommended two of them – Blow and Donnie Brasco. Here are a few more to remind you where the heartthrob from 21 Jump Street started and what you should check out.

Edward Scissorhands (1990) – Only Tim Burton could have done an adult gothic fairy tale set in a suburb. This movie has so much heart and humour to it that it’s usually listed as one of Depp’s best. They create a world that feels so cartoonish but real at the same time. It’s rare when you find that balance but here it is.

Ed Wood (1994) – It’s no surprise that even on a short list like this, two of them are from collaborations with Tim Burton. Some of Depp’s best early work was with the eccentric director and he really shined as the legendarily bad director who loved to wear women’s clothing. It’s black and white, it’s twisted and it’s hilarious.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) – When people remember this movie, it’s usually Leonardo DiCaprio’s that people think of.  What is missed is Depp’s role as the anchor to of his family, stuck in a role he never wanted but content to play the part. He plays role completely straight, really grounding the rest of the movie.

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