Clive Owen’s stock seems to have fallen in recent years, set aside slightly from the huge roles he once had. At one point he was even a James Bond contender. And it’s perhaps strange to wonder why.
The English actor is a real class act in front of the camera and while he’s been in a number of movies in recent years, as well as starring as Bill Clinton in FX’s Impeachment: American Crime Story, he’s not had a blockbuster in some time.
That said, there are plenty of phenomenal performances we can look back on too. He’s starred in some excellent movies and to remind you of what a brilliant talent he is, here are the movies you simply must watch…
We love a good casino movie, and in the last few decades, there have certainly been some good ones, representing the times we live in where playing Vegas Spins casino games like slots and roulette is hugely popular. In this 1998 film, which was one of Owen’s first movies, he plays a croupier in a neo-noir movie by director Mike Hodges.
Playing Jack Manfred, the character is an aspiring writer who takes up a job at a casino in order to earn a living. However, he finds himself drawn into the world and it begins to take a dark turn with Owen’s character shifting into the criminal underworld and robbing the casino.
It’s a thrilling movie that broadcast Owen’s talents to the wider world, and the work just started to roll in from it.
It’s quite easy to move from casinos to Sin City, but this movie isn’t based in Las Vegas but the very recognisable comic book town, Sin City. The movie, which was directed by Frank Miller and Quentin Tarantino, sees three different stories told, but each has something in common and was critically acclaimed when it was released in 2005.
It’s perhaps Owen’s biggest role to date and his performance was fantastic often outshining an all-star cast which included Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis and Benicio del Toro.
Children of Men
We’d go as far to say though that Children of Men is Owen’s best performance. Released in 2006, it tells the story of a very different world that is set in the ever-approaching 2027. In this instance, women have been infertile for 18 years, while Britain is one of the only civilised areas still left on the planet.
Owen plays Theo Faron, a government official who has found a fertile woman with a baby. The young immigrant must find solace with her baby before she is captured and subjected to detention. Encouraged by his wife, Faron is the person to help.
Based on the P.D. James 1992 novel of the same name, it also stars Julianne Moore, Michael Caine and Charlie Hunnam and was a real hit, being nominated for a total of three Academy Awards.
The Bourne Identity
The early 2000s saw Clive Owen get some pretty big roles, and in The Bourne Identity, he played The Professor, the first in the Bourne franchise in which Owen plays one of three agents tasked to kill Jason Bourne.
Starring alongside the likes of Matt Damon and Chris Cooper, it was a huge hit, making $214million at the box office and laying the paving stones for one of the most successful franchises in movie history. It was the only Bourne movie Owen starred in, but many would also say the best too.