While I anxiously await the release of the new movie Gangster Squad, I couldn’t help but reflect on some of the great past performances by renowned actor Sean Penn. In anticipation of the release of Gangster Squad, I combed through my library and re-watched a few of my favorite movies that feature Penn’s intense and emotional method acting style. Though I wouldn’t necessarily consider Sean Penn to be the greatest actor of all time, he is certainly one of the best performers in the business. He definitely ranks at the top of my list of favorites.
Jimmy Marcum from Mystic River
Hands down, my favorite performance from Sean Penn is his portrayal of the gangster Jimmy Marcum in Mystic River. My first reaction to this movie was amazement. I have never seen a more passionate or convincing depiction of a hardened criminal gangster. I can’t think of one actor in the history of movies that could possibly replace Penn in this film. My friends and I often try to select another character that could challenge Penn’s persuasive depiction of Marcum. It’s always an interesting conversation. Truly, a more intimidating gangster figure does not exist in modern cinema.
Brad in At Close Range
At Close Range is another example of Sean Penn’s amazing ability to accurately illustrate periods of historical reference. The character of Brad Whitewood Jr. is so richly portrayed that you can almost feel what it would have been like to witness the development of an influential crime family in America. I can’t help but acknowledge that Penn’s unique application of emotional method acting adds a very distinct authenticity to American period piece cinema.
Considering the impressive achievements of Sean Penn in the past, it seems like a safe bet to assume that I will be pleased with his most recent interpretation of Mickey Cohen in Gangster Squad. And, once again, I can’t think of another actor that would be more appropriate for the iconic portrayal of Mickey Cohen. One thing is for sure, I will definitely be venturing to the box office to check out the highly anticipated release of Gangster Squad.