Top 10: Liam Neeson Performances

Liam Neeson has been acting professionally since the 1970s, and along the way has attracted much attention and praise for his skill in front of the camera. This includes his highly regarded and often fact-based dramas, including Schindler's List and Michael Collins. However, Neeson has also impressively rounded out his filmography with major and supporting roles and memorable performances in everything from popcorn films, to action roles, and romantic comedies. Join as we countdown our Top 10 favorite Liam Neeson performances.

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Top 10: Liam Neeson Performances

He is distinguished by his gruff voice and his eagerness to portray historical figures. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for Liam Neeson’s top 10 performances.

Number 10: Qui-Gon Jinn (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace)

The first entry on our list is the only redeeming quality of George Lucas’ otherwise completely disappointing prequel. As Jedi Master Qui-Gon, Neeson plays a memorable mentor, trainer and father figure to both a young Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Number 9: Alistair Little (Five Minutes of Heaven)

Here, Neeson plays former UVF member Alistair Little. Decades after he killed a young man and served his sentence for the crime, he is asked to reconcile on-camera with the victim’s brother. The result is a charged performance where Neeson plays a man who is desperately seeking absolution.

Number 8: Peyton Westlake (Darkman)

In this film, Neeson portrays a scientist who becomes horribly disfigured after the mob destroys his lab. He then uses unstable synthetic skin to steal identities in order to exact his revenge. This performance showcases the actor’s ability to rise above the makeup to depict a sympathetic monster.

Number 7: Dr. Jerome Lovell (Nell)

As a sensitive local doctor and clinical psychologist, Neeson attempts to help a woman who developed her own language after being raised in isolation. Throughout the tale, he develops a father/daughter relationship with Nell, while also learning about her past and trying to decipher her words.

Number 6: Bryan Mills (Taken)

Neeson proves himself as a believable action star in this thriller. He plays an ex-soldier who is on a frenetic mission to rescue his abducted daughter from slave traders. Neeson is unyielding in the part, and kicks butt by hitting his enemies in the throat. Often.

Number 5: Henri Ducard/Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman Begins)

In a rare occurrence, Neeson takes on the role of the bad guy in this superhero film by playing Batman’s mentor, the immortal Ra’s Al Ghul. The character is an adaptation of a comic book villain, and Neeson is able to inject a multifaceted performance by playing a man who takes his sense of justice too far.

Number 4: Michael Collins (Michael Collins)

Ireland’s greatest actor plays Ireland’s greatest revolutionary. As Michael Collins, Neeson gives an explosive performance as he heads a rebellion. For this role, he faithfully paid tribute to the passionate patriot who died during the Irish Civil War, and for that he was nominated for a Golden Globe.

Number 3: Alfred Kinsey (Kinsey)

In this biographical picture, Neeson plays the infamous professor whose research on human sexuality has altered social and cultural values across the globe. He holds nothing back in this engrossing performance, and tries his best to take the taboo out of sex.

Number 2: Robert Roy MacGregor (Rob Roy)

In this historical drama, Neeson helps bring eighteenth century Scotland to life as a cattle driver and clan leader. When the money he borrows from the nobility to buy cattle is stolen, he is forced into a lifestyle reminiscent of Robin Hood. To defend his family and his honor, he transforms from a peace-loving man into a force to be reckoned with.

Number 1: Oskar Schindler (Schindler’s List)

Taking top honors on our list is Liam Neeson’s Oscar-nominated performance as a heroic German who saves the lives of more than one thousand Jews during the Holocaust by employing them. As the lead in Steve Spielberg’s true World War II story, Neeson plays a man who is forced to rethink his beliefs and ethics during a horrific period in world history. Neeson creates a human character who takes on intense risks and his family in order to do the right thing.

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