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6 Best Films of Edward Norton


In an era dominated by renowned actors like terribly charming Tom Cruise, a director’s choice Tom Hanks, a versatile Brad Pitt, an insanely talented Leonardo De Caprio, a jovial Johnny Depp, and for that fact, even miraculously flexible Christian Bale; it takes a personable Edward Norton to make a unique mark in the Fight Club known as Hollywood. Ever since the actor has made his impressive debut in the Academy Award nominated performance for the best actor in supporting role in 1996 film Primal Fear, he has not looked back and has shown an intransigent grit to be a never oblivious survivor in a cut-throat competition infusing industry that demands a perpetual hard work.

Over the years, Edward Norton has mastered the craft of acting and has emerged out to be an absolute method actor and it is quite evident in his performances that demands varied expressions of eyes and face. Here is Filmspell’s list of the choicest of performances from his oeuvre.

Primal Fear (1996)


In this Greggory Hoblit’s Neo-Noir flick Primal Fear, he played Aaron Stampler, an altar boy suffering with stuttering syndrome, who gets accused of murdering Archbishop Rushman. The film was based on William Diehl’s 1993 novel of the same name. He had garnered both public and critic acclaim with this debut film of his; and was nominated for an Academy Award for the best supporting role and went on to win the Golden Globe Award for the same.

American History X (1998)

American History X [1998]

He had played an ambiguous role of Derek Vinyar who also flaunted a Swastika tattoo in this Tony Kaye’s non-linearly weaved story; which arguably happens to be the best picture on racism. This is considered as Edward Nortan’s best performance ever and was nominated for the Academy Awards for the best actor in lead role, but unfortunately, this underrated actor wasn’t triumphant that year.

The Illusionist (2006)

The Illusionist

In this magical flick by Neil Burger, he played a magician named Eisenheim who wore a well maintained beard that gave the most handsome men run for their money; and in the succession of the story, surprisingly solves a murder mystery by his craft of summoning of the dead spirits.

The Painted Veil (2006)

The Painted Veil

He played Walter Fane, an unjustly cheated husband in this film by John Curran’s; who goes on to discomfort his wife out of sheer anger; latterly who finds his generous side to fall in love with him once again. Walter is a character that dies in the end but has become immortal in the hearts of the fans.

Birdman (2014)


He stole the show from the protagonist to some extent by making an appearance in the 2014’s Academic Award winning picture Birdman in which he played a brilliant but volatile method actor – a role that somehow suits his own personality too. Edward Norton has never failed to impress the audience and in that case critics too.

Fight Club (1999)


To explain his calibre as an artiste with an illustration; his acting prowess can be easily observed in David Fincher’s masterpiece Fight Club in which he deftly played a morose office guy, devastated and bored to death with the monotony of life and prudential materialistic pursuit. The role demanded an enormous skill of doling out perfect facial expressions; and oh well, did I say that he made the difficult role look so simple.

On the personal front, Edward Norton is also comprised of awe-inspiring qualities like altruism, benevolence and munificence. He is a true humanitarian who believes in charity and it can be easily inferred, as he is a trustee of a non-profit organization which develops affordable housing, and he happens to be the president of Maasai Wilderness Conversation Trust. He is an environmental and social activist and in 2010, he was designated as United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity.

Coming back to his career as an actor, it would be very prosaic to say that he has a very short filmography, but rather it can be concluded that he has been very selective in playing characters; and it is discernible in the evidential statement in which he had articulately quoted; “It’s better for people to miss you that to have seen too much of you.” But Filmspell and the cinephiles over the globe would love to see more from this eminent actor.

Edward Norton Profiles: IMDb, Wikipedia

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FilmSpell is about unbiased reviews and awesome recommendations of Foreign, Hollywood and Bollywood movies.


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  • 25th Hour

    Perhaps one of the best characters Norton has ever played. The characterization of Monty Brogan is one of the bests (if not the best) in his films. A drug-dealer with his back against the wall, Monty Brogan has 24 hours to live as a free man. The film starts with Monty looking straight into the eyes of a injured dog and then taking it to a pet clinic. Then we time travel forward to 2002 on the last day of his freedom. And without your knowledge, you’ve already started living in this character’s shoes. His troubles, his monologues in the bathroom, his fears.There are many gems in this film that you can not miss. And Norton comes out on top of each of his scenes, even while sharing screen time with top notch actors like PS Hoffman, Barry Pepper and Rosario Dawson. Norton does what he always does best.