Daniel Day-Lewis Birthday Special: From Gangs of New York to Phantom Thread, 7 Best Films of This Acting Legend Ranked As per IMDB (LatestLY Exclusive)


Daniel Day-Lewis’ incredible acting range is something this article is too ineligible and miniscule in status to even comment on. After all, he is considered the master of method acting, with the kind of preparation that he does to immerse himself in a role. Which is why, while Daniel Day-Lewis may have acted in a few disappointing films, he has hardly given a bad performance. Which is also why despite his obstinacy for perfection hasn’t deterred great directors from working with him. Oscars 2018 Best Actor Nominations: Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman Or Daniel Kaluuya, Who Will Win The 90th Annual Academy Awards?

And which is also why despite giving a wonderful performance in his last movie, Daniel Day-Lewis chose to retire from acting (until he choses to return in future), because he thinks there is nothing else to explore for him. Maybe beating his own record of being the only Hollywood actor to win three Oscars in the Best Actor category might tempt Daniel Day-Lewis to return to his favourite playing ground.

On the occasion of this legend’s 64th birthday, we look into his filmography and rank his top seven films as per IMDB rating from lowest to highest.

Gangs of New York (2002)

Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York

IMDB Rating: 7.5

This Martin Scorsese gangster epic, also starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz (who also prematurely retired from acting), may not be one of the director’s best works. But it features a truly scenery-chewing performance from Daniel Day-Lewis as the antagonist, Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Martin Scorsese Birthday Special: From Goodfellas to Taxi Driver, How the Filmmaker Skillfully Used Tracking Shots.

Phantom Thread (2017)

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread

IMDB Rating: 7.5

… aka the film that sent Daniel Day-Lewis into retirement. Why, we have no clue, as the Paul Thomas Anderson film got good reviews and even an Oscar nomination for the actor. For his role of the dressmaker, Lewis, being the method actor that he is, apprenticed under Marc Happel, who is the head of the costume department at the New York City Ballet.

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)

Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans

IMDB Rating: 7.7

Lewis played a Mohawk in this epic adventure drama, directed by Michael Mann, and set during the French and Indian War in 1757. For his role, the actor got training from a US Army colonel in developing his combat skills. So think twice before you wanna go man-o-man with this legend! Michael Mann Birthday Special: Al Pacino’s Heat, Tom Cruise’s Collateral – 5 Captivating Crime Thrillers by the Prolific Filmmaker That You Should Not Skip.

My Left Foot (1989)

Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot

IMDB Rating: 7.9

This biographical film directed by Jim Sheridan, based on the life of Christy Brown who suffered from cerebral palsy, earned DDL his first Academy Award for Best Actor. How can he not get one, for the actor refuses to get out of the character, even when his scenes were not being canned, not willing to leave the wheelchair! That’s some dedication!

Gandhi (1982)

Daniel Day-Lewis in Gandhi

IMDB Rating: 8.0

Some of you might be surprised to see this film here. Where did you see Daniel Day-Lewis in this Richard Attenborough classic that won Sir Ben Kingsley an Oscar playing the Father of India? Actually Gandhi was one of DDL’s earliest films, where he has a miniscule role of a racist bully who tries to intimidate Mahatma Gandhi when he was in South Africa.

In the Name of the Father (1993)

Daniel Day-Lewis in In the Name of the Father

IMDB Rating: 8.1

Another real-life based film, Daniel Day-Lewis played a man falsely convicted of the 1974 Guildford pub bombings and set to torture and trial. To prepare for the role, the actor lost about 30 pounds. It didn’t end there. He even spent nights in jail, and then made sure that the crew members abuse him verbally. Damn!

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood

IMDB Rating: 8.2

The film that won DDL his second Oscar, There Will Be Blood no doubt has the actor’s finest performance as the anti-hero Daniel Plainview, but is also one of the director duo Coen Brothers’ best films too. To carve the mannerisms of his character, Daniel Day-Lewis studied the old recording of actor-director John Huston who passed away in 1987. Well, we will drink our ‘milkshake’ to that!

(The above story first appeared on Scoop Buddy on Apr 29, 2021 09:21 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website scoopbuddy.com).