Just over a week ago today, we lost one of our best actors. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was a man of tremendous talent. In performance after performance he fully inhabited his characters, he became them in a way that few actors could. He elevated every project to which he was attached, and he’s rightly considered to be an all time great.

With his passing, I put it upon myself to choose my top five favorite Phillip Seymour Hoffman films. The task proved more difficult than I had imagined. With a filmograpy as impressive as his, it’s basically impossible to truly pick the five best on itube app download. This is a solid list; yet, there are plenty of other great films that might have missed a spot.

Photo from Everett Collection

Photo: Everett Collection


5. Almost Famous– This is an example of Phillip Seymour Hoffman making the most out of a what would have been a small part in a big movie. With what little screen time he has as Lester Banks, he steals every scene he’s in and pretty much the whole movie.

Photo from Everett Collection

Photo: Everett Collection


4. The Big Lebowski– Again, in a small part Hoffman manages to shine. The Big Lebowski had an incredible ensemble. You almost wouldn’t remember that Hoffman was in the movie, but in Brandt, the uptight butler, he adds humanity and credibility to a character as only he can.

Photo from Sony Pictures Classics

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics


3. Capote– Without Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s total devotion to character, Capote wouldn’t have worked. He was Truman Capote in every moment that he came on screen and his performance was captivating and unforgettable.

Photo from Sony Searchlight Pictures

Photo: Sony Searchlight Pictures


2. Synecdoche, New York– This is a strange film. You almost certainly won’t understand it when you watch it for the first time, which is why Charlie Kaufman needed Phillip Seymour Hoffman to make this movie. As Caden Cotard, the struggling theatre director, he achieves total and constant relatability, allowing for a way in to this complicated but great film.

Photo from the Weinstein Company

Photo: Weinstein Company


1. The Master– Paul Thomas Anderson’s (PTA) masterpiece was the best film of 2012, and much of the film’s success comes from the performance given by Hoffman. Great artists push each other, and in the master you have two of the greatest actors of this generation going at it on screen, the other being Joaquin Phoenix. That, combined with PTA’s sublime writing and direction make for not just the best Phillip Seymour Hoffman movie, but one of the best movies I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.


Honorable Mentions: Punch-Drunk-Love, The Savages, Moneyball, Red Dragon, Boogie Nights.


What are your favorite Phillip Seymour Hoffman movies?  Feel free to share your insights via the comment section below.