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Top 10 Jude Law Performances

VO: Ashley Bowman
Written by Richard Bush Sniper, sex-icon, hitman, heartthrob. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top ten Jude Law Performances. For this list, we’ll be focussing on the best of Law’s back catalogue, from his war epics to his soppy Rom Coms. Special thanks to our users Mattyhull1, JosephT, DanicaDaniels1997, Ash Fitzpatrick and travistenbrunsel for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Jude Law Performances

Sniper, sex-icon, hitman, heartthrob. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top ten Jude Law Performances.

For this list, we’ll be focussing on the best of Law’s back catalogue, from his war epics to his soppy Rom Coms.

#10: Vasily Zaytsev
“Enemy at the Gates” (2001)

With tense stand-offs, dingy settings and an eerie soundtrack at its core, "Enemy at the Gates" sees Russian and German WWII snipers fight it out, and Law's at the heart of the battle. Stepping into the sharpshooting shoes of real-life Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev, Law is at the centre of the action, rifle in hand and staring down a scope. The film received mixed reviews, but Law’s portrayal of Zaytsev is what brings the visceral Stalingrad setting to life.

#9: Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas
“Wilde” (1997)

Oscar Wilde is known to have had many complex relationships, but perhaps the most reckless was that with Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas, who Law plays in this 1997 biopic. Telling of Wilde’s life and Bosie’s unrelenting, and at times destructive influence on it, the film features an intense performance by Law as he inhabits the selfish, extravagant and manipulative personality of the writer’s love interest. From shooting Stephen Fry’s Wilde a suggestive glare, to taking over a room through song, it’s Law with smugness turned up to 11.

#8: Dan Woolf
“Closer” (2004)

This film makes your average love triangle look like amatuer hour. Several stories become intricately intertwined here, with Law’s Dan Woolf being one of those nice, but sleazy guys who changes his morals when it suits him. Appearing monogamous one second, and adulterous the next, he’s highly unlikeable, and yet his manipulative ways somehow have us sitting on the fence in every scene. Charm and deception rolled into one, it’s a must-watch for all Law fans.

#7: Brad Stand
“I Heart Huckabees” (2004)

Law slips into another Machiavellian character here as Brad, a guy trying to dupe fellow department store big-wig Albert, played by Jason Schwartzman. But with a strange subplot involving detectives trying to find the meaning of life, it’s certainly not your average comedy. Yes, Law uses his charisma and wit to crush his opponent, but this performance also serves up some subtle, yet undeniably hilarious moments, especially when sharing screen time with Schwartzman. If you wanted proof of his comedy chops, then observe.

#6: Dr. John Watson
“Sherlock Holmes” (2009)

There’s a fine line between sophistication and swagger - but as Sherlock Holmes’ trusty companion Dr. John Watson, Law nails it. Appearing debonair one minute and jolting into action at the tip of a top hat the next, Law hits all the right notes as the former soldier and voice of reason in Holmes’ ear. And his chemistry with Downey Jr.’s often-obnoxious Holmes is unwavering. Under the direction of Guy Ritchie, it’s hard to envision anyone else bringing this role to the big screen.

#5: Gigolo Joe
“A.I. Artificial Intelligence” (2001)

Some actors can seem destined to play a role based purely on their appearance, and Law’s polished good looks meant he was the perfect specimen to play a male prostitute robot that can mimic the emotions of love. That was a compliment, by the way. This performance is brilliant for many different reasons, mostly because Law manages to successfully imitate the characteristics of intimacy and passion, and yet live up to his robotic character and appear emotionless behind the eyes. A difficult feat for any actor.

#4: Jerome Eugene Morrow
“Gattaca” (1997)

To a radically different role next, where Law swaps cheeriness for bitterness. Starring as Jerome, a former swimmer cut down in his prime after a car accident, he allows Ethan Hawke’s Vincent to use his genetic makeup to help him realise his dream. Law’s scenes are sprinkled throughout the film delivering outbursts of anger, heady scepticism and and some heartfelt monologues. It’s one of his more relatable performances, and one that’s ultimately laced in tragedy.

#3: Harlen Maguire
“Road to Perdition” (2002)

Law shocked everyone with this one. Hanging up pretty much every one of his typical character traits, this role as hitman Harlen Maguire sees him go dark, and do it very well indeed. Hired to track down and kill Tom Hanks’ Michael Sullivan, this stony faced killer is not to be messed with. And it works so well because of Law's past roles - just when we think he’s about to say something witty, he instead shoots a devilish glare at the camera and doesn't say a word.

#2: W. P. Inman
“Cold Mountain” (2003)

A soldier trying to get home to see his love, Law’s take on W. P. Inman is captivating. Through his powerful performance, we're prompted to look at what lies beneath the psyche of a soldier. Meeting a series of eclectic characters on his journey, Law seamlessly adapts to each and every scene - bouncing around the emotional spectrum, and holding his own against a seriously talented supporting cast. He earned himself a well-deserved Oscar-nod for this one.

#1: Dickie Greenleaf
“The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999)

Most were baffled how Law didn’t nab an Oscar for this one. A film centered around Matt Damon’s Tom Ripley becoming infatuated with Law’s Dickie Greenleaf, the portrayal of Dickie is integral to the movie’s success. He’s charismatic, confident and carefree, with an abundance of talent, friends, good looks and wealth - who wouldn’t want to be him, right? But it’s Law’s effortless execution of this career-defining persona that makes it. To many, he will always be Dickie Greenleaf, both on-screen and off.

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