With The Imitation Game out now in UK cinemas, it’s got us thinking; just how brilliant is proper British gent Benedict Cumberbatch? In order to answer this major toughie, we’ve decided to take a look at Cumberbatch’s best film, television and theatre performances! Are you ready for a huge dose of Benedict? Let’s get started.
1. The Imitation Game – Benedict Cumberbatch’s latest triumph comes in the form of Morten Tyldum’s story of mathematical genius, Alan Turing, and his mission to crack the Enigma Code during World War II. Cumberbatch delivers a stunning performance that goes far beyond what is expected. Creating a multi-dimensional, complex character that grabs audiences attention from the get go, Cumberbatch truly gives the performance of his career. Take look at our review on The Imitation Game to dive deep into Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Alan Turing. Why not take a look at the trailer too.
2. Sherlock – How could we do a list like this and not mention the show that truly rocketed Cumberbatch into stardom?! With Martin Freeman as his John Watson, Cumberbatch takes on this iconic role with brilliance. He’s completely redefined the character and is no doubt one of the most well-loved versions of the famous Sherlock Holmes. With his unique sense of humour, blunt honesty and loyal sense of friendship, Cumberbatch’s Sherlock has won the hearts of many fans on a global scale. With a collection of directors bringing the show to its up-and-coming fourth season, Sherlock has found itself to have one of the most dedicated fandoms going. Check out the awesome moment he confronts his arch nemesis, Moriarty.
3. National Theatre Live: Frankenstein – We’ve got no doubt that Benedict Cumberbatch has quickly become one of the most well known television and feature film actors, but he excels in theatre productions also. Danny Boyle tells the famous Mary Shelly tale of Dr. Frankenstein and his Creature. Alongside Johnny Lee Miller, Cumberbatch takes to the stage as Frankenstein’s Creature with an astonishing performance. Completely compelling and fabulously origional in his performance, Cumberbatch makes audiences sympathies with the unloved Creature while simultaneously making them fear him. Take a look at our review of Benedict in the production and watch the brilliant trailer.
4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – In the second installment of Peter Jackson‘s amazing Hobbit franchise, not only does Cumberbatch voice the role of the dreaded dragon, Smaug, but he delivered some brilliant motion capture acting also. Who knew he could play such a great dragon? Cumberbatch nailed the sneaky movements of giant Smaug and truly committed to the performance. Joined by Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage and Orlando Bloom, we can’t wait to see more of his performance in the final part of the Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. Here’s a brilliant behind the scenes look at Cumberbatch in action!
5. STARTER FOR 10 – One of Cumberbatch’s first feature roles came in this cute coming-of-age story about enthusiastic learner Brian, played by James McAvoy, and his desperate need to feature on University Challenge whilst at Bristol University. Cumberbatch plays a hilarious part as up-tight team leader, Patrick, who’s loathing for Brian comes second to his love for knowledge. Directed by Tom Vaughn, Starter For 10 shows off a nerdy, quirky side to Cumberbatch that we don’t regularly see in his contemporary work, but anyone else notice a hint of Sherlock in there? Take a look at some of his best bits from the movie!
6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Directed by Thomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy saw Cumberbatch join an all-star cast which included Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Gary Oldman, Cathy Burke, Colin Firth and Stephen Graham. Cumberbatch plays Peter Guillam, an undercover agent that helps to expose a mole within MI6. Cumberbatch takes on this role with a slick ease that enables audiences to easily fall into a complex narrative. Sporting a blonder, fluffier hair-do, Cumberbatch makes waves in an impeccable cast. Take a look at this tense clip between Guillam and Tom Hardy’s Ricki Tarr.
7. Star Trek: Into Darkness – What do we love more than a good Cumberbatch? A bad one! When he took on the role as the dastardly Khan in J.J Abrams second film in his rebooted franchise, fans were over the moon to hear he’d join Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto on The Enterprise. Cumberbatch played the villain of Star Trek: Into Darkness with such a sense of disturbing control, he impressed the entire cast and crew. With both physical commitment in the fighting scenes and controlling his emotions to play the stone-faced baddies, this is definitely a blockbuster triumph for Cumberbatch. Take a look at this character profile video from the movie!
8. Atonement – From sci-fi villain to sinister abuser, Cumberbatch takes on a more serious role in Joe Wright‘s book adaptation starring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy. Cumberbatch plays a small but integral part in the narrative as Paul Marshall. McAvoy’s character, Robbie is falsely accused of a hideous crime he did not commit, by his lovers younger sister. This accusation destroys the lives of many and forces Robbie to join the Army. The real perpetrator? Paul Marshall. Cumberbatch plays his role with such intensity that it is truly chilling to watch. Take look at this sinister clip.
9. Stuart: A Life Backwards – Before his career on the big screen, Cumberbatch did some brilliant television movie work, including his performance in David Attwood‘s story of two unlikely friends. Cumberbatch plays a writer who takes a backwards look at the life of Stuart, an alcoholic homeless man who struggles to deal with the trauma of his childhood. Joined a young Tom Hardy, Cumberbatch plays Alexander Masters, who wrote the book of the same name, as he followed Stuart’s turbulent life from the present day back to his very birth. With very controversial and sensitive subject areas, Cumberbatch takes on the role with commitment and sensitivity. Take a look at the DVD trailer.
10. 12 Years a Slave – Directed by Steve McQueen, this heartbreaking story of Solomon Northup’s harrowing life in slavery became massively successful with knockout performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson, Lupita Nyongo’o and of course, Benedict Cumberbatch. He plays William Ford, a plantation owner who buys Solomon and quickly becomes appreciative towards the good man. This appreciation leads to horrific circumstances in this wonderfully told story. Take a look at this brilliant interview with the man himself.
So, there you have it Cumberbatch fans, Benedict’s top-ten performances from the emotionally turbulant, to hysterically funny and frighteningly good; Cumberbatch continues to out do himself with brilliant, captivating performances.
With so many other stunning performances in films such as WAR HORSE, OSAGE COUNTY and THE FIFTH ESTATE to name but a few, there’s no doubt, he can only get better!
What do you think of our file? Which Cumberbatch performance is your top choice? Comment below and let us know!