5. EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990)
Director: Tim Burton. Writer: Caroline Thompson. Starring Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Vincent Price.
Depp received his most memorable Golden Globe nomination for his performance as Edward, a creation of The Inventor (Vincent Price) who gave the artificial young fellow scissors rather than hands. In the first of a career-long number of movie collaborations with director Tim Burton, Depp gives Edward a remarkable capacity for empathy even if the strange young man isn’t certain of his surroundings — the home of a suburban family with a delightful daughter (Winona Ryder) with whom Edward falls in love. In the many movies that Depp and Burton make in later years, none has been very pretty much as sweet as Edward Scissorhands.
4. FINDING NEVERLAND (2004)
Director: Marc Forster. Writer: David Magee. Starring Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Kate Winslet, Julie Christie.
Filmgoers who went into “Finding Neverland “expecting another adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s work of art “Peter Pan” were most likely shocked to find a movie focusing on Barrie himself and how he came to write the beloved children’s favorite.
3. WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE (1993)
Director: Lasse Hallström. Writer: Peter Hedges, based on his novel. Starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen, Leonardo DiCaprio.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is a classic American drama adapted from Peter Hedges’ 1991 novel of the same name. It recounts the tale of a young man named Gilbert Grape who is forced to look after his disabled younger brother and mother while searching for his own source of joy in a world that is constantly against him.
2. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN series (2003, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2017)
Writers/Directors: Various. Starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush. Writers/Directors: Various.
Depp caught lightning-in-a-bottle with his choice to model his pirate Jack Sparrow after the out-there rock icon Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Depp’s bold approach reportedly made some Disney executives be aghast when they saw the dailies, with some needing to close down production completely, convinced it was going to be a flop. A flop it positively was not, and the center of what is now a five-film franchise is Depp’s now-iconic pirate.
1. DONNIE BRASCO (1997)
Director: Mike Newell. Writer: Paul Attanasio. Starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen.
With many quirky movies under his belt, Depp rolled out a sudden change of image in this true story of young FBI agent Joseph Pistone (Depp) who goes secret as “The Jewel Man,” Donnie Brasco. Donnie soon finds himself embedded deep in the Bonanno crime family and turning into the protege of aging gangster Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino). “Donnie Brasco” did a lot for Depp’s rising career — it not just only proved that Depp, who had been known primarily for arty kinds of movies, could work in a genre film and responded to the inquiries concerning whether he could keep up with the big guys, and few are bigger than Al Pacino.