Lone Ranger is coming out in theaters this week. It looks horrible to say the least, but Johnny Depp has definitely made some excellent films. Since my knowledge of the Western genre is scarce, and that’s understating it, I decided to give you a list of my five favorite Johnny Depp films. Either of these looks a thousand times better than his new film, which I shall never name again, and so think about maybe getting one of these on DVD or Blu-Ray and save the theater expenses. Or (more likely) you already own one of these and can just re-visit it for free instead of spending money on what looks to be a dreadful film (and the reviews so far seem to confirm this).
A little disclaimer I regretfully haven’t seen Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man (1995) yet which looks excellent and I’m a huge fan of Jarmusch and that is the only film of his I haven’t seen to date. Based on that and Jarmusch’s track-record I feel that I can recommend it without having seen it.
5. Ed Wood (1994, Tim Burton)
Burton and Depp collaborations are legendary at this point, a brand of their own if you will. In 1994 however it wasn’t as extreme as it is today, so Ed Wood doesn’t feel like they were doing it to cash-in on it. Ed Wood is a charming, gorgeous looking black & white film. It’s the biography of infamous director Ed Wood. One of Depp’s best performances and also a great Bill Murray and a Tim Burton in top form.
4. Platoon (1986, Oliver Stone)
At this point of his career Johnny Depp wasn’t a star yet, so it’s no surprise his role is quite small in this picture. However this is a great film you should check out anyway. Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe are spectacular in their respective roles. It’s also one of Oliver Stone’s best films and a great war film in general, and that’s another genre I’m not particularly fond of, so coming from me it has to mean something, right?
3. Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003, Robert Rodriguez)
Great Mexploitation or Western set in Mexico. A funny film with some dazzling action, a sexy Salma Hayek and an incredible cast of fantastic actors: Antonio Banderas, Mickey Rourke, Danny Trejo, Willem Dafoe and the list goes on and on. While Johnny Depp isn’t the main character in this one, his role is certainly important and he plays such a badass. If you’re thinking about checking it out for him alone: Please do.
2. The Ninth Gate (1999, Roman Polanski)
As a horror guy and a Polanski fan I have to recommend The Ninth Gate. It’s not as good as say Rosemary’s Baby or The Tenant, but it’s a solid effort from the Polish director. Great suspense and an intriguing story, this film will definitely please Johnny Depp fans, as he’s pretty much in every frame of this film. I mistakenly watched this during the day, but I can imagine it being terrifying especially at nighttime.
1. Edward Scissorhands (1990, Tim Burton)
To me this remains Burton and Depp’s best film. One might say the quality of their cinematic collaborations peaked early, but I stand by it. Edward Scissorhands is a sweet, romantic film about being a misfit, a fairly tale, a heartbreaking story. It’s one of my all time favorite films and one I’ll re-watch every year. I also love Winona Ryder in this and of course there’s Burton signature production and costume design already coming to the forefront here. It’s the film that catapulted Depp and Burton into international stardom, every self-respecting fan should have seen this one at least once.