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Hoffman Top Ten

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Mark Kermode Mark Kermode | 17:09 UK time, Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dustin Hoffman has directed a new movie, Quartet and he's on the film review show this Friday talking about it. Here's my top ten of his movies - do you agree with my choices?

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  • Comment number 1.

    kramer vs kramer is in my top 5 films of all time - a wonderful human

  • Comment number 2.

    A brilliant list. Midnight Cowboy... No contest, one of the very best films
    of all time and one of the very few movies to make me cry. And Marathon Man. One of the best Hollywood thrillers of not only the 70s but of all time. You said not to mention Hook, so I'm going to mention the box office turkey that is Ishtar. If there ever was a film that reeked of excess its that film... A comedy film that only has one gag and milks it for all its worth. A terrible film that Hoffman has a very strong affection for, despite its infamous status.

  • Comment number 3.

    Didn't Ishtar cause the first Gulf War?

  • Comment number 4.

    Hook is my favourite film. Therefore i'm finding it difficult to watch this video past the phrase "despite movies like... Hook".

  • Comment number 5.

    A fantastic list that covers all the highs of Hoffman's career. Only issue I would take is that I believe The Graduate to be a better display of Hoffman's talent than Midnight Cowboy, but I understand why you feel differently Mark.

    I don't think it should be on the list, but I have to mention Hoffman's portrayal of Willy Loman in Volker Schlondorff's Death of a Salesman. I thought Hoffman perfectly encapsulated the tragedy and delusions of Loman, in a TV film that stands out as one of the best.

  • Comment number 6.

    The choice of Ratso Rizzo was something of a lock as everyone in the world loves The Wizard of Oz, Annie Hall, The Dark Knight and Midnight Cowboy. I'm glad to see Lenny some love, as it's a much neglected film but i've always thought Tootsie was pants. As we're talking about Dustin Hoffman, I'd like to bang the drum for the forgotten masterpiece that is Straight Time (1978) about a thief just released from prison and contains one of his best performances, although it wasn't happy for Hoffman and he's apparently not keen on talking about it. Currently not available on DVD in the UK it turns up on television from time to time and is well worth seeing.

  • Comment number 7.

    i like all your picks but on this one im going to ride Papillion.
    This is a underated movie

  • Comment number 8.

    10. I Heart Huckabees. 9. Lenny. 8. Kramer vs. Kramer. 7. All the President's Men. 6. Tootsie 5. Midnight Cowboy 4. The Graduate. 3. Wag the Dog. 2. Marathon Man. 1. Rain Man

  • Comment number 9.

    Hoffman is great in 'Hook'. There are lots of reasons that 'Hook' is a tough watch but Hoffman is not one of them. How Dustin Hoffman manages to convince as an evil swashbuckling and apparently reasonably tall pirate captain is beyond me. He is a marvel in that film.

    Papillion is certainly worth a mention and I am sure it will get more than a few but I would also like to throw in 'Runaway Jury'.

    He is great in that film. That's all.

  • Comment number 10.

    I know Hook was considered a failure but I don't think I say with childhood nostalgia that it's still a credit to Dustin Hoffman's abilities as a performer, that he could for better or worse disappear into that role.

    Hook is certainly not your least favourite pirate movie, is it Mark?

  • Comment number 11.

    Mark, I want to ignore it, but you keep saying it.

    I Heart Huckabees is a great film (and Hoffman is great in it). Some people find the humour alienating and smug but I had a completely different response. I thought it was a riot. I 'got' the humour and the references and actually liked that the movie's farcical tone and dialogue was set in a way that it made me feel 'in on the joke'. I think it helped that I did Psychology at Uni so all the stuff about people trying to find themselves through various schools of therapy made sense to me, not to mention all the existential stuff which can either be taken as waffle or deep and the film works either way.

    And how can someone not love Isabelle Huppert turning up in a darkened car like some nihilistic black shadow and playing completely at odds with Hoffman and Tomlin's jolly approach to life?

    It's my favourite Hoffman film after Marathon Man (to be honest, I have to admit I like Hoffman's sillier stuff, like Sphere and Runaway Jury, so what do I know)? But I thought I'd stick up for it anyway :P

  • Comment number 12.

    Little Big Man is one of the greatest westerns out there and Dustin Hoffman's performance is one of the best of his career! How could you leave it off! However, I am glad you left off Papillon. I truly hate that film

  • Comment number 13.

    Pretty good list Dr K, but perhaps you should care what we think, because if Sleepers, Papillon and Wag the Dog are not better films and Hoffman performances than Last Chance Harvey, I need to completely recalibrate what constitutes a good film.

    Also, while perhaps not a top ten contender, I thought Perfume: the story of a murderer was a pretty watchable adaptation.

    p.s. Argo deserves Best Picture more than Amour about as much as How Green was My Valley deserved it ahead of Citizen Kane and the Maltese Falcon in 41!

  • Comment number 14.

    Marathon Man is just plain goofy. The only way the plot works is if its characters make boneheaded, illogical decisions throughout. Lawrence Oliver's notorious Nazi war criminal in hiding risks being recognized by choosing to get diamonds appraised in an obviously Jewish neighborhood when he could have gone elsewhere; Dustin Hoffman's character hires a bunch of hoods to break into his apartment in order to distract some bad guys and get him his father's gun, but the hoods are armed the entire time; and Hoffman is surprised by intruders in his apartment three times yet he never seems to think to lock his front door. I won't even touch on the grating acting in scenes that go from calm to frenzied in no time flat or the lame direction because the script is just laughable. The "Is it safe" scene is appropriately cringe-worthy, but that's the film's only saving grace.

  • Comment number 15.

    I hate this dismissive, irrational hatred for Hook. As someone who saw the film in their childhood, I am someone who is actually qualified to judge it.

    I usually respect Kermode's critical analysis of films, as he is one of the few critics who attempts to review a film from the perspective of it's target audience, objectively assessing whether the film has succeeded in engaging with it's niche.

    As a member of Hook's target audience - I can safely say it was the most enjoyable film of my childhood. And my nostalgic connection with the film is powerful enough to make me cry every time I hear the soundtrack.

    I have a good 17 years invested in Hook. Making it (for me) the greatest film of all time.

  • Comment number 16.

    Did you deliberately mention Hook to provoke a reaction from an entire generation?
    I grew up in the 90s, seeing the film first at the age of 4. I was terrified by Hoffman and had many sleepless nights thinking I would be snatched from my bed. On repeated views I had a more pleasant experience and now as an adult I still enjoy it, although admittedly this could be due more to nostalgia than quality. Still, I think Spielberg did a good job making a sequel of a classic story.

    As for Hoffman's best, I'll go for Marathon Man. While it may be lacking something that Midnight Cowboy and The Graduate had, as entertainment it is superior. The first half dragged a bit but developed Hoffman's character well and by the halfway point I was gripped by his struggle and (SPOILER!!??) cheered at his inevitable victory.
    Strangely it's the same reaction I have watching Hook, with Hoffman on the other side.

  • Comment number 17.

    A very good list in general Mark. Hoffman certainly has an extraordinary body of work behind him. The one I possibly would have included is Wag The Dog, which features an excellent performance by Hoffman, and gave him his most recent Oscar nomination. This was quite poignant in many ways, as he plays a Hollywood producer who in the past has produced the Oscars, and is now creating a fictitious war with the help of Robert De Niro's Spin Doctor.

    While the influence of All The President's Men on Argo is clear, it wouldn't surprise me if Ben Affleck also drew inspiration from Wag The Dog, especially the way that Hollywood helped to rectify a troublesome (albeit less dangerous) situation. Of course, Argo is based on real-life events and Wag The Dog isn't, but there are certain parallels all the same.

  • Comment number 18.

    Totally agree with Midnight Cowboy.I would have Presidents Men at two. But as barney said where WHERE W! H! E! R! E! is Little Big Man ????? Its Brilliant , hes brilliant in it. I also have a secret intense passion for `Perfume `a strange and wonderful tale. I know hes not the main character, but I love him in it anyway.

  • Comment number 19.

    Strangely, Tootsie never really did much for me, nor was I bowled over by Marathon Man. I know it's not big or clever but I always enjoyed Outbreak. Far better than the muddle that was Contagion, and a terrific cast.

    I haven't seen Papillon in years, I must find 3 hours to watch it again.

  • Comment number 20.

    My mum was a big fan of Dustin Hoffman and, to this day, I'm still carrying on the family tradition of watching Tootsie at least once a year. And I don't get tired of it: snappy dialogue, great performances all-round, laugh-out-loud comedy along with tender touching moments, a fab vibrant portrayal of New York and Hoffman in a timeless performance. I think I'll go watch it again...

  • Comment number 21.

    And "Little Big Man" is another great movie. Hoffman is so good in it.

    "Hook" is a good entertaining movie. You're just prejudiced against it.

  • Comment number 22.

    Of course I'm going to suggest Hook, No I'm just kidding. Well I would include Wag the Dog, Sleepers, Stranger Than Fiction, Papillon and all though Confidence was a bad movie he was kind of scary in it but he wasn't given a chance to make a cult role

  • Comment number 23.

    One of my favorite Dustin Hoffman performances isn't in a film at all but in an early episode of The Simpsons, titled "Lisa's Substitute." Mr. Bergstrom, voiced to perfection by Mr. Hoffman, represents that great, inspirational teacher and role model we all wish we had, and when little Lisa cried over his abrupt departure I cried as well (and I'm not afraid to admit it).

    It's TV animation at its finest.

  • Comment number 24.

    Very surprised to see Little Big Man and Papillion behind Last Chance Harvey in your list Simon, but then it does make it more rounded, and more exemplary of the work Hoffman has chosen for himself. Another that hasn't been mentioned is the mostly-forgotten Hero, a film he carries single-handedly.

    Tootsie, like it or not, is a fantastically brave choice for a director like Sydney Pollack and actor coming off the back of an Oscar win. It's partly because of Hoffman's performance that it's not the embarrassing farce its premise suggests and instead a regular feature on Best Comedy of All Time lists and 10-time Oscar nominee.

  • Comment number 25.

    How true. Mr. Bergstrom in "The Simpsons" was totally lovely. Thanks, Dustin!

  • Comment number 26.

    I've got to vote for Papillon and Little Big Man as well. The latter is a star vehicle in a rambling portmanteau movie but Papillon has Hoffmann working wonderfully well alongside Steve McQueen. Hoffman's expression at the end is heartbreaking as he knows he's missed the chance to escape.

  • Comment number 27.

    Death of a Salesman for me is one of Hoffman's definitive performances, and would easily make it above Rain Man or Tootsie in my book.

  • Comment number 28.

    It's okay, Mr Kermode, it's not your fault you were born 20 years too early to appreciate Hook.

    Really though - people who saw Hook as kids seem to love it; I'm still yet to meet someone (in the wild; I'm aware you can find anything you care to look for on the internet) who saw it young and hates it. I remember growing up and out of curiosity googling contemporary reviews for Hook, and being shocked at how negative they all were. My sister and I can still quote whole scenes of Hook at each other, and do.

    And even if you do hate it, surely Hoffman isn't the bit to hate?

  • Comment number 29.

    Come on Mark, I expected better from you than to join the ranks of every other snot-nosed film critic who dismissed Hook without conceding that there was a large population who, like me, saw the film when they were kids, loved it, and continued to love it into their adult years.

    Not only is it a great kids movie, but Hoffman is brilliant in it as the menacing Captain Hook - I'd have it in my top 5 Hofmann movie list any day...

  • Comment number 30.

    Would say his turn in Straw Dogs is my No.1


    Well I've never seen anything like it before and since. Talk about reinventing and exploring what a "hero" is in modern cinema.

    It puts a radical and ironic spin on the saying that: "an Englishman's house is his castle"


    We have seen a great many 'siege scenes' in cinema but they almost always get mocked by comparisons to Home Alone (Skyfall being a recent example of this) the only way you can cary off such an outlandish scene like a siege is to have a great actor at the centre of the action...

    I'd cite both Hoffmann in Straw Dogs and his closet competitor Al Pacino in Scarface as being the two best examples of actors making a very hard-to-carry action scene work.

  • Comment number 31.

    (1.) Midnight Cowboy
    (2.) Lenny
    (3.) The Graduate
    (4.) Marathon Man
    (5.) Papillon (How could you leave this one out?)
    (6.) All The Presidents Men
    (7.) Straw Dogs
    (8.) Little Big Man
    (9.) Rainman
    (10.) Confidence (I know it was only a cameo but I thought he was brilliant)

  • Comment number 32.

    10. Finding Neverland...he was in the movie for maybe 5 minutes but he was pitch perfect for every second.

    9. Hook...such a deliciously campy performance as Captain Hook.

    8. Papillon...his glasses made him look like a Japanese submarine commander circa WWII but his work in this underrated movie was superb.

    7. Kramer vs Kramer...he held his own against Meryl Streep, a hard thing to pull off.

    6. Sleepers...he was so good as a borderline incompetent defense attorney.

    5. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story...why can't documentary narrators get more love?

    4. Tootsie...good lord Hoffman was funny, intense, and desperate in this ridiculously hilarious movie.

    3. close to perfection as any performance I've ever seen.

    2. The Graduate...he was barely 30 years old in this movie, that's a baby in Hollywood years for male actors.

    1. Midnight Cowboy...even the U.S. Congress singled out this movie for preservation in the National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

  • Comment number 33.

    No Little Big Man are you mad?? One of my all time favourite Westerns and years ahead of Dances With Wolves yet always forgotten. Hoffman made me both laugh and cry in that film. I'm positively shocked you left it out.

    Straw Dogs I could easily live without ever having to watch again. So over-rated.

  • Comment number 34.

    Won't argue at all with the top three and their order. Mind you, I'd have liked Papillon and Little Big Man to have been somewhere in that top ten.

  • Comment number 35.

    Personally I'd have put "All the Presidents men" at the No1 spot being not just my favourite Hoffman film but my favourite Redford film as well -

  • Comment number 36.

    Papillon, for the interest of seeing him paired (as with Robert Redford in ATPM) with another star of his stature and quality (Steve McQueen) with whom one would presume clashes of style would be evident on screen, but, in fact, demonstrates a film of brilliant collaborative acting where the relationship between the two characters becomes the central focus of all invested emotion.
    Also Little Big Man, very unlooked.

  • Comment number 37.

    I happened to find him brilliant in Accidental Hero.

    It's a great movie and Dustin Hoffman gets really into it as the unlikable petty crook who somehow ends up saving lots of people after a plane crash, and from behind bars watches on as someone else takes credit for his rare act of pragmatism (a person whom he paid with his "other shoe", thereby ensuring that this Mr. Cinderella got all the kudos). And it's a fine performance - despite the rather satirical edge, I thought he played it demonstrably straight and made it sing. I think it's a rather underrated movie myself and one which shows off Mr. Hoffman's timing to great effect.

    Considering the straining to fit in titles of note, I'm not that surprised that Accidental Hero once again gets overlooked. It always has been, and that for me is quite a shame. Because it's Hoffman doing what he does best; acting. And more power to him for it.

  • Comment number 38.

    I nearly lost a friend when I obnoxiously berated her for liking Hook (even worse, her favourite film!), so we're probably on the same page there. I've learned not to disabuse people of the films they love, no matter how wrong they are (it's an argument, if won, a pyrrhic victory, and you look like a jerk either way).

    Little Big Man, great revisionist Western, and a ton of aging make-up. Straight Time, under-appreciated crime classic as good as any of those better remembered gems of the 70's (put that in yer Friedkin pipe an' smoke it).

    His tic ridden performance in Rain Man is a little too much for me (I'm consciously aware throughout that it's Dustin Hoffman doing an incredible performance). It's also in service to a cynically empty feel not so good movie. Sadly, his not "the full retard" turn overshadowed a more sincere slightly less flawed movie Dominick and Eugene with Tom Hulce and Ray Liotta exploring a real relationship between brothers one of whom is challenged.

    I'm not sure what you make of him as the voice of Joan of Arc's "Conscience" ('cause it would have killed them to credit him as "God", maybe he should hang with Alanis Morrisette), but it was one of the best things about Luc Besson's take on the tale. Speaking of voices who can forget his cameo on The Simpsons (Episode: "Lisa's Substitute"): "Mrs. Krabappel.... are you trying to seduce me?" I'd take that over Rain Man any day.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'd also defend Last Chance Harvey as better than it oughtta, but let's be honest here, as much charisma as Dustin lends the proceedings, it wouldn't work at all without Emma Thompson. Face it, you feel disappointed every time she's off screen, and that even applies to some movies she's not even in.

  • Comment number 40.

    Kermode seems to have a strong distaste for fantasy films in general, so I wouldn't take his Hook comments too seriously.

    While the film has its problems, Dustin Hoffman's performance as the title character isn't one of them. For a generation of Peter Pan fans he IS Captain James Hook.

    Second star to the right, Mark.

  • Comment number 41.

    Although agreed on your choice for choosing "Midnight Cowboy" as the quintessential Hoffman performance, i have always found his turn in Schaffner's "Papillion" to also be brilliantly crafted; especially the child-like innocence he brought to the character. I know the film was more of a showcase to show Mcqueen's dramatic acting chops, but "Papillion" is always the film i refer back to as the penultimate Hoffman role.

  • Comment number 42.

    Hook is Dustin Hoffmans best film! Bangarang Hoffman!

  • Comment number 43.

    I think Papillon deserves to be in this list somewhere. In a time when Steve McQueen was able to have a film crafted to flatter him in any way he wanted, Hoffman more than matched him.

  • Comment number 44.

    No love for LIttle Big Man? It's one of my favourite Hoffman films.

  • Comment number 45.

    Ironically, these are the only Hoffman films in my collection, so a Top 10 is pretty easy. I've never seen THE GRADUATE, still haven't seen LENNY, no intention of seeing HOOK, never want to see LITTLE FOCKERS ever again...

    2. TOOTSIE
    6. RAIN MAN
    10. WAG THE DOG

    Btw, "...and I don't care what you think!". Ooooooh! Get you! (handbag held to the chin with both hands). Dr K's getting more insecure by the day.

  • Comment number 46.

    I have to put in a plug for DH in Papillon, playing second fiddle to Steve Mcqueen, Hoffman is spot on perfect as his shortsighted fraudster friend, who slowly descends into paranoia, but maintains that little spark of cunning & intelligence.

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi Mark.

    What about Runaway Jury, where Dustin is superb against Gene Hackman?

  • Comment number 48.

    Hoffman turns in a decent to great performance in everything he does. Even Meet the Fokkers where he and De Niro had little but stereotyped, under-scripted roles to play.

    #1. Little Big Man
    A great novel turned into a very good movie. Both funny and moving with an ensemble cast held together by Hoffman’s central performance. It also hit the zeitgeist sweet spot in it’s sympathetic portrayal of native Americans.

    #2. Tootsie
    Another film that hit the zeitgeist sweet spot of it’s time. Hoffman is simply amazing (the make-up job helps) but the script was also very good.

    #3. Lenny
    Edgy? Not half. Not many people know of Lenny Bruce so can’t judge how close Hoffman got in playing him. Not a happy shoot apparently. Director Fosse based All That Jazz’s central character (Roy Scheider) on himself recovering from making Lenny.

    #4. Kramer vs Kramer
    Both Hoffman and Streep were pitch perfect.

    #5. Rain Man
    Difficult to imagine another actor playing a part like this without it becoming an offensive caricature. Daniel day Lewis perhaps could also have carried it off.
    #6. American Buffalo
    A Mamet play/film. Good solid acting throughout.

    #7. Kung Fu Panda
    Voice of Shifu; superb characterisation.

    #8. The Graduate
    I’m not convinced the film has aged that well, but a massive hit that launched Hoffman into A list movies.

    #9. Death of the Salesman (TV movie)
    If you want to watch Miller’s play then this is pretty much a definitive version.

    #10. Marathon Man.
    Despite the plot holes a thriller that really does grip whilst you watch it. Nowadays we just get shoot-em-ups and car stunts.

    Midnight Cowboy was taboo breaking in its day. Hoffman was good and, for my money, Jon Voight has never been better. John Barry’s theme is one of his best. But overall I think the film was over-rated in its day and hasn’t aged well.

    Straw Dogs? There’s nothing in that movie that strikes me as convincing. Controversial – and popular - at the time because of the violence, but home invasion movies have been done much better since. I can only imagine that Hoffman wanted to work with Peckinpah really badly.

  • Comment number 49.

    ' Don't mention Hook, I' ve mentioned it once, think i got way it '

    Why has no one mentioned Lttle Fockrs, oh yes now i remember why !!!!

    Come on Mark, Hoffman worse in Little F than he is in Hook.( oops I mentioned Hook again)

  • Comment number 50.

    Rain Man was certainly a decent film and was useful in raising awareness of Autism. I do have mixed feelings of it in the sense that there are some scenes I (as a person on the Autistic Spectrum) connect to. It can also be very frustrating. For example, not all of can count cards! If I could, I would probably be living it up somewhere!

    I hope this is taken as praise and bearing in mind I am seeing this from someone on the Spectrum: I can see the effort he made in portraying an autistic character, particularly with the issues surrounding eye contact (or the possible lack thereof). It may not appear quite "natural", but at least an effort has been made. I hope this makes sense and if there's a better way of phrasing this, please let me know! Cheers.

  • Comment number 51.

    Has anyone said Outbreak?.....Outbreak, there I said with it.

  • Comment number 52.

    Re posted, realised I had left a word out it should have read:-

    ' Don't mention Hook, I' ve mentioned it once, think i got way with it '

    Sorry, brain working quicker than I can type !!!

  • Comment number 53.

    @19 - I too would like to give a favourable mention for Outbreak. I'm glad that Harrison Ford passed on the role and Dustin Hoffman took it on because it becomes a much more interesting film with Hoffman in the lead role and proves how good he is in an action role.

    As for Straw Dogs, I complete agree with Dr K in that Hoffman is very good in what I consider to be a lousy and unpleasant film (and I speak as someone who likes a lot of Peckinpah's work)

  • Comment number 54.

    "STRAIGHT TIME"!!! I was waiting and waiting and waiting, but you have not picked this one. For me it is clearly one of Hoffman's greatest performances. What I love about his character, is the rush and struggle that he shows on screen. Great film and an extraordinary leading perfromance.

  • Comment number 55.

    'Straw Dogs' is a superb analysis of the complexity of violence in our nature. I see no conflict and I think Hoffman makes it all the more incredible

  • Comment number 56.

    Some great shouts for Wag the Dog which, as political commentary, is up there with All The President's Men... But what about Dick Tracy? Rarely has a film been so underrated - and Hoffman is priceless in it! I would also go along with those who are giving honourable mentions to Papillon. To anyone who doubts, five words: it also stars Steve McQueen...

  • Comment number 57.

    What on Earth is wrong with Hook??!! I love that film as a perfect childhood movie moment and I am constantly surprised by how absolutely wonderful Hoffman is. His performance has defined the character of Captain Hook for so, so many people growing up in the last 20 to 30 years.
    What a callous thing to dismiss it so quickly.

  • Comment number 58.

    Forgot to mention "death of a salesman"

  • Comment number 59.

    Sorry Rick_Rogers and all of my other erstwhile, knowledge contributors but Dr. K. is correct: Hook is an abomination. Leave it to rot at the bottom of the sea. While we're on the subject of terrible films/performances perhaps Besson's Joan of Arc could be burnt at the stake too.

    Agree with most of the list BUT Straight Time is a great performance and needed to be in, perhaps in place of Kramer v Kramer which has always struck me as a VERY overrated film. I liked him in the underrated Accidental Hero, whilst he has a nice little part in Stranger than Fiction.

  • Comment number 60.

    On the subject of the Lenny Oscar nom it is worth noting that it as also up against Al Pacino in The Godfather Pt II, Jack Nicholson in Chinatown and a not even nominated Gene Hackman in The Conversation although they all bafflingly ended up losing to Art Carney in Harry and Tonto

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    why in dustins name did last chance harvey top papillon? i agree with the points made about last chance harvey but by no means does his performance in that best his work in papillon.

  • Comment number 63.

    Also just reading up through. it's true that you didn't mention little big man. hoffman carrys that film on his shoulders just like a little big man

  • Comment number 64.

    I would nominate Death of a Salesman as well, a great tragic performance, with some great chemistry with John Malkovich.

  • Comment number 65.

    For me, the best Hoffman movie has to be Straight Time - one of the most overlooked films ever made.

  • Comment number 66.

    What is the beef with I heart Huckabees?

  • Comment number 67.

    Outbreak man. Genius.

  • Comment number 68.

    Midnight Cowboy, no question. Hook is terrible...

  • Comment number 69.

    I was young when Hook came out and I thought it was terrible, even at the time.

    But where is Papillon? That image of Louis staring with his head cocked to one side, through broken glasses

  • Comment number 70.

    No Papillon or Little Big Man? shocking

  • Comment number 71.

    SHAME!!!! You forgot Little big man.

  • Comment number 72.

    I would like to add my voice to those who loved the hideously underrated Accidental Hero - great acting (not only by Mr DH himself but also unexpectedly good turns from Geena Davis, Andy García and Chevy Chase), plenty of twists and turns, a script with actual bite and no Hollywood cop-out ending. No wonder it flopped. In fairness haven't seen Last Chance Harvey but I'll bet AH gives it a run for its money.

    Oh yeah, you are so bang right about both Hook (puerile annoying claptrap, yes even as a kid I understood that) and I (heart) Huckabees (annoying Indie-film-by-committee hoping to cash in on Charlie Kaufmann's unexpected success).

  • Comment number 73.

    kermode youre an egotistical 50s throwback greasball.

  • Comment number 74.

    To all the Hook apologists: Get a grip! I saw it when I was 11 (i.e. within the target audience) and I remember thinking it was pretty dreadful even at the time, although not as horrid as my all-time most hated film "Robin Hood: Men in Tights"...

    Hook is bobbins and no amount of "he was good in it" or "I was a child at the time" will rescue it.

  • Comment number 75.

    At least one other person mention the little seen masterpiece "Straight Time", which for my money is THE Dustin Hoffman performance of great Dustin Hoffman performances. He plays a totally convincing small time crook from has just been released from prison, who goes straight for a bit but eventually goes back to his old life of crime and has probably the most realistic ending of any crimes film I've ever seen. Written by Ed Bunker of Mr. Blue fame and was actually suppose to be Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut before he decided he wasn't ready to direct.

  • Comment number 76.

    I'd like to make the case for Accidental Hero.

    It's a fun film, but mostly silly.
    Hoffman's performance though lifts it to another level.

    The scene where he calls his son on the way to prison saying that he's going away on a business trip is particularly touching.

    Good top 10 though.

  • Comment number 77.

    haha, Tootsie:
    "I'm more of a man than you'll ever be. And more of a woman than you'll ever get..."

  • Comment number 78.

    Hook was a terrible film but Hoffman is probably the best thing in it - unlike Julia Roberts, who arguably put in the worst performance of her career for the worst film of her career.

    But I too want to put in a cheer for Runaway Jury. Hoffman's performance is absolutely central, much more so than Hackman's - 'Gentlemen, I seem to have lost my way in this case.'

  • Comment number 79.

    You've lost all credibility. Not Hook? It's because you weren't a child of the time. Even if you (outrageously) dislike Hook, you must be able to appreciate his performance?

  • Comment number 80.


  • Comment number 81.

    People always give Hook a hard time, and it really annoys me! Yes it was never going to win an academy award. But it's a great film, with a great spin on the Peter Pan story, and it also has John William's best ever score!
    And who better to play the deranged Captain Hook than Hoffman!

  • Comment number 82.

    Personally I would agree with most on your list, but for me something would have to give way for his wonderfully absorbing Louis Dega in Papillon.

  • Comment number 83.

    all obviously of my favourite films of all time has to be Little Big Man and I will fight anyone who doesn't agree

  • Comment number 84.

    A bit late, but I absolutely loved Dustin in 'Wag the Dog' - another film that possibly crossed Ben Affleck's mind whilst making 'Argo'. In fact maybe he has some sort of Hoffman fetish :O

    But anyway, I think Hoffman is brilliant, igniting incendiary chemistry with Robert De Niro - in one of the last films in which De Niro appears to have a dramatic pulse.

    ... I wait for the revised Hoffman 'Top Ten' where you correct this omission ... (begins to stare off into the distance and whistle) ... Go on!

  • Comment number 85.

    Upon finding the comments section I planned to suggest 'Papillon', however, scrolling down the first couple of pages I see this will not be necessary. I was also pleased to see Straw Dogs on the list, I know it isn't for kids but, c'mon, Pekimpah was a genius. A violent, volatile, drunk genius. Hoffman was, and is, much sweeter. Even in that movie.

  • Comment number 86.

    One of my favorite dustin Hoffman performances and film is a film called Straight Time where he plays thief Max Dembo released from jail trying to go straight. This film is hard to get on dvd.


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