All of daniel day-lewis’ movies ranked, in honor of his retirement
Posted June 28
Updated July 10
Actor Daniel Day-Lewis shocked the entertainment world last week with his sudden retirement announcement. He gave no specific reason for his departure from his craft in a released statement. "Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor,” said his spokeswoman Leslee Dart in the statement. “He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject. "
The 60-year-old actor has received many awards and accolades for his work over the years, including three Oscars for Best Actor. His roles have ranged from Abraham Lincoln to a disabled writer and artist, and have showcased his ability to play a variety of characters.
Day-Lewis does have one more film set to premiere on Dec. 25, 2017. “Phantom Thread” reunites the actor with director Paul Thomas Anderson, who directed Day-Lewis in 2007’s “There Will Be Blood.”
As we wait for his final screen performance, we decided to take a look back at Day-Lewis’ incredible body of work. Which of these is your favorite performance?
- Domestic box office sales: $182.2 million
- Acting Awards: Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Screen Actor’s Guild, Critics’ Choice, New York Film Critics Circle, etc.
Day-Lewis won so many awards for his portrayal of the 16th president, it would take too long to list them all. Critics almost unanimously praised his performance in the film. According to a 2012 New York Times review, the actor “eases into a role of epic difficulty as if it were a coat he had been wearing for years.”
“Gangs of New York” (2002)
- Domestic box office sales: $77.8 million
- Acting awards: BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, Critics’ Choice, New York Critics Circle, Satellite Award
In Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York,” Day-Lewis plays William Cutting, a gang member in 19th-century America. The late film critic Roger Ebert wrote that Day-Lewis’ performance “is inspired by an intense ferocity, laced with humor and certain analytical attachment.”
“The Last of the Mohicans’ (1992)
- Domestic box office sales: $75.5 million
This movie, based on a classic novel by James Fenimore Cooper, sees Day-Lewis as Hawkeye, an orphan boy raised by a Mohican father. Rolling Stone called the actor’s portrayal “riveting” in its original review of the film. In this classic scene, Hawkeye tells his leading lady, Cora, he will come back to find her after the battle ends.
“There Will Be Blood” (2007)
- Domestic box office sales: $40.2 million
- Acting awards: Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, Critics’ Choice, New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
In “There Will Be Blood,” Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, an oil speculator in the late-19th century and early-20th century. He won numerous acting awards for his “monstrous and shattering” performance, as described by The New York Times.
“The Age Of Innocence” (1993)
- Domestic box office sales: $32.2
Day-Lewis stepped out of the box a little by playing the role of Newland Archer in this Victorian-era romance. Stuck between his traditional bride-to-be (played by Winona Ryder) and her captivating cousin (Michelle Pfeiffer), Day-Lewis portrays the struggle between love and society’s expectations. The Washington Post noted the actor’s ability to “work within small boundaries…and responds memorably.”
“In The Name Of The Father” (1993)
- Domestic box office sales: $25 million
Day-Lewis plays Gerry Conlon, an Irishman wrongly accused and convicted of the bombing of a London pub who serves 15 years in prison. The Austin Chronicle wrote that the actor’s performance was “brilliantly realized” and the movie got “under the skin” of its audience.
“A Room With A View” (1986)
- Domestic box office sales: $20.9 million
In one of his earliest roles, Day-Lewis played Cecil Vyse in his first Victorian-era motion picture. In this role, he plays the stodgy, traditional suitor who simply doesn’t understand women. Roger Ebert called his performance a “masterpiece.” That seems to be a running theme with the actor’s reviews.
- Domestic box office sales: $19.6 million
- Acting awards: British Independent Film Award: The Richard Harris Award
The actor tries his hand at a musical in the movie “Nine.” He plays movie maker Guido Contini who has a hard time getting inspired and finds that real life doesn’t always mirror fantasy. The Philadelphia Enquirer did not give the film an overall great review. However, the critic wrote that Day-Lewis did a “powerful” job acting his songs and gave “a taste of the film that might have been.”
“My Left Foot” (1989)
- Domestic box office sales: $14.7 million
- Acting awards: Academy Award, National Society of Film Critics, London Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
This is the movie that took the actor’s career to the next level. Day-Lewis’ character, Christy Brown, is a write and artist with cerebral palsy. The actor portrays the character’s battle to be relevant despite his disability. Slant Magazine highlights his performance in a scene where he’s rejected by a doctor he fell in love with during his treatment as “remarkable.”
“The Unbearable Lightness Of Being” (1988)
- Domestic box office sales: $10 million
- Acting awards: Boston Society of Film Critics Award
In the role of the young doctor Tomas, Day-Lewis played an “epic womanizer,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The movie was known more for for its sexual content and nudity than for its riveting plot and acting performances.
“The Bounty” (1984)
- Domestic box office sales: $8.6 million
In a movie starring top-named actors including Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson, Day-Lewis had the small, supporting role of sailing master John Fryer. He was just starting out in his major motion picture career here.
“The Crucible” (1996)
- Domestic box office sales: $7.3 million
A film version of the Arthur Miller play, “The Crucible” casts Day-Lewis as John Proctor. The movie is set during the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s. Proctor has an affair with his servant. But when he ends the tryst and dismisses her, servant Abigail decides to get revenge by claiming Proctor’s wife is a witch. Uh oh. Entertainment Weekly said Day-Lewis’ performance “burrows into the soul of John Proctor’s stubborn decency, his unwillingness to grasp that the truth is the last thing that’s going to protect him.”
“The Boxer” (1997)
- Domestic box office sales: $5.9 million
The actor plays Danny Flynn, a boxer recently released from jail after serving 14 years for involvement with the Irish Republican Army. He returns to his hometown to try to get back into boxing and win back the love of his life.
“My Beautiful Laundrette” (1986)
- Domestic box office sales: $2.4 million
In one of his first major roles, Day-Lewis plays Johnny, a jobless drifter who agrees to help his old friend launch his own business. For his work in the movie, The New York Times praised Day-Lewis for a “performance that has both extraordinary technical flash and emotional substance.”
- Domestic box office sales: $52.7 million
Ok, so Day-Lewis didn’t have a major role in the widely acclaimed film that won Sir Ben Kingsley an Oscar for best actor. However, his role as a street bully in South Africa who meets Mahatma Gandhi gave moviegoers a first (albeit brief) glimpse of the actor who would be the only one to win three Oscars for Best Actor.
“The Ballad of Jack and Rose” (2005)
- Domestic box office sales: $712,275
Day-Lewis plays an ailing environmentalist Jack Slavin, who lives with his daughter Rose. As his illness progresses and his fight against builders escalates, Jack invites his girlfriend and her family to live with them. Of course, this causes friction between Rose and the newest members of the household. The movie did not do well in the box office, but critics praised it, calling it “smart and engrossing.”