Critique Four Actors (Two Male/Two Female) Born In Your Birth Year

Ideally, pick two male/female actors whose work you admire, and two that you don’t.

Easiest to find using IMDB and plugging in your birth year in the appropriate spot in this link format (remove spaces from http)

h t t p://

I’ll go first…1964.

The Good:

Matt Dillon - A great child actor who’s craft hasn’t declined into adulthood. Maybe typecast too much as a hard-ass. Was impressively funny in There’s Something About Mary, and phenomenal in Drugstore Cowboy. I haven’t seen a significant portion of his work, but what I’ve seen I’ve enjoyed. Matt probably won’t be remembered as one of the greats, but he holds his own.

Marisa Tomei - Despite an Oscar win and two other nods, IMHO she’s still underrated. Memorable in just about everything I’ve seen her in…a gifted actress acting that is always believable in her roles. Still easy on the eyes too, which doesn’t hurt.

The Bad:

David Spade - Whatever it is that he does, it isn’t really acting. He’s just his smarmy, annoying self. Admittedly, I haven’t sat through all of Joe Dirt, which I understand was the perfect outlet for him, but in a long list of “actors”/comedians who just play themselves, he stands out because his personality isn’t all that likeable.

Famke Janssen - OK, not horrible, but fairly cardboard actress that has no apparent depth. Was passable in the the 1st X-Men movie., but mostly forgettable in everything else I’ve seen.


The Good:

Lorraine Toussaint: One of my favorite people in Saving Grace & Orange is the New Black. Tall, strong, beautiful woman, plays amazing characters amazingly well.

Kenneth Branagh: Directs. Acts. Sings. Dances. Does Comedy. Directs Thor and doesn’t cast himself as Odin.

The bad:

Darryl Hannah: Seems to have made a career out of playing brainless, vapid, wooden people.

Hugh Weaving: Got to knock boots with Elizabeth Hurley but instead chose to pursue prostitutes for blow jobs. What. The. Hell.

Um, that’s Hugh Grant. Not Hugh Weaving. Or Hugo Weaving, who almost went on the Good list for not giving a shit about male pattern baldness.


Michael McKean: Comedy, satire, drama. Of the two actors who played Lenny and Squiggy (David Lander, also born in the same year), McKean was able to separate himself from that character and go on to better things.

Teri Garr: A solid comedic actress with good timing and decent skills. Her roles in Young Frankenstein and Close Encounters stand out.

Runner up: Tracey Walter, just because I have a soft spot for character actors, and Walter has had steady work for a long time.

Also: Edward James Olmos, Ray Wise


See David Lander, above: the guy went on from Squiggy to do a lot of voice over, but never really became a recognized name.

Schwarzenegger: While I respect his earning power, his movie efforts were generally pretty one-note roles. I enjoyed the Terminator series more for the plot than the acting, and thought that Predator was a good action flick. I also hate his politics and misogynistic outlook.


Bill Hader - Stefon. 'Nuff said.
Rachel McAdams - maybe not the best actress in the world, but she has a lot of charm and I’ve enjoyed her work on True Detective this season.

Ashton Kutcher - no explanation necessary.
January Jones - perfect for Mad Men but not much else.



**Leo DiCaprio: **a fine actor who appears in consistently excellent movies. Any dislike I had of him from his teen idol years has evaporated in light of his output.

Elizabeth Banks: brilliant comic actress and sexy, sexy woman.

Runners up: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Joaquin Phoenix, Seth Green, Alyson Hannigan, Misha Collins. A good vintage.


Penélope Cruz: overhyped for a while, then disappeared. Not actually a good actress in anything that requires her to keep her clothing on.

**Ed Helms: **smug asshole.

People I couldn’t decide which list to put them on: Josh Radnor (decent actor, weakest cast member of his own sitcom), Giovanni Ribisi (will always be Phoebe’s idiot brother) Jimmy Fallon (Jimmy Fallon).

Adam Sandler: the reason why abortion must remain legal and accessible.
Fred Armisen: truly talented comic with great ability to gently mock his core audience.
Halle Berry: talented actress who has made terrible choices in her roles
Helena Bonham Carter: a pile of eye liner, scarves and quirky hats that was once married to that guy who made one good movie


Helen Mirren: A consummate actress with a commanding screen presence. She “owns” every role, and comes across as much taller than her 5’4”. A real “Queen.”

Tom Selleck: Started out being known for his mustache and legs, has grown into both dramatic and comedy roles.


Divine: Ate dog shit.

Gabe Kaplan: Welcome back, who?


The Good:
Michael Sheen - Not quite a chameleonic actor, but a wide range of roles has proven his worth, playing many real life people in biopics has made him somewhat unique. Though he takes his work seriously, he seems a genuinely nice and funny guy in real life.

Cate Blanchett - One of the finest actresses of our generation, her natural serenity makes her job look easy.

The Bad:
Matthew McConaughey - Though he’s popular, I find him to be a smarmy, self-involved, irritating dick. I can’t get past that to view him objectively.

Jennifer Lopez - A better singer than she is an actress. And I’m not a fan of her singing.

1956 Lots of choices!

The Good:

Tom Hanks - Very good actor, very likable.
Dana Delaney - Beautiful woman. Tombstone!

The Bad:

Mel Gibson - I mean, come on!

I can’t find a bad female to nominate. If I can cheat and have two males, then I’ll toss in David Caruso. Whatever it is he does (or did) on that CSI show is not what I would call good acting.

1970 -

The Good:

Matt Damon - Not just an action hero; I really enjoyed Good Will Hunting.

Aisha Tyler - anyone from Archer is fine by me, and I get Lana Kane!!

The Bad:

Vince Vaughn - Can’t stand anything he does. He’s like nails on a chalkboard.

Lara Flynn Boyle - one word: overrated.

My year is 1968.

The Good: Naomi Watts and Rachel Griffiths. I actually like Griffiths better, because Watts can sometimes come across as nothing more than an airy accessory, but I don’t get to see her in much anymore. Very underrated, smart and interesting. They both seem to know their craft really well.

Hugh Jackman. Although I don’t think he’s the best actor in the world, he’s very steady, doesn’t take himself up seriously, has better range than most and seems to enjoy himself and pick decent vehicles.

Oh, The Bad: Casper Van Dien. If you can call what he does acting and not mugging his supposed beauty everywhere, his name in the credits is a pretty quick and certain way to get me to skip that particular film.

Lucy Lawless. I missed her Zena heyday, but have recently (and unfortunately) been subjected to her ‘work’ on Salem. She’s not God awful and there’s brief moments when you can glimpse that she might’ve improved if her training and choices had been better, but as is, she STARES to convey hautiness, girlishly flirts to convey desire (not such a great trait for someone of her age) and GLARES to let everyone know just how pissed off she is. Argh. It’s almost made her parts of that show unbearable.


John Goodman – lots of choices, but Goodman is good even in the crappiest movies (like King Ralph.

Alfre Woodward – She first came to my attention in a riveting guest shot in Hill Street Blues, and she had amazing acting chops when she gets a role. Sadly, her talent is badly underutilized. I notice that CCH Pounder also is on my list; she has had exactly the same situation: amazing actress who is rarely given a chance to show it.

Steven Sagal – does that really need an explanation?

I can’t really pick an actress on the list that I have a strong negative opinion about. Maybe Roseanne Barr, who really only plays herself and has never shown any range at all. But in her wheelhouse (like the early episodes of Roseanne), she can be just fine.


Ewan McGreror – Great actor. Plays his roles very well whether he is a drug addict, Jedi Knight, or a hopeless romantic singing anachronistic songs.

Christina Applegate – Became famous for playing a dim witted slut in a sitcom and has steadily worked since then. She is probably smarter and funnier than people realize.

Mark Walhberg – One note actor who plays his one note fairly well. Former leader of the Funky Bunch.

Jenna Elfman – Not sure how she keeps getting work, must be the company she keeps.

Also 1971. There are 5,203 names, so I decided to narrow it down to famous people who also share my birth month.

The Good
[li]Amy Poehler - hysterical, smart, sometimes a little “one note” but I like most of her characters[/li][li]Martin Freeman/Josh Charles (tie) - I love both of these guys, and have seen each of them in multiple things[/li][/ul]
The Bad
[li]Jada Pinkett Smith - there were only three women on the list, so this was between her and Jenna Elfman; right now Jenna has a slight edge (though Jada’s performance on Gotham seems to gradually be improving)[/li][li]David Arquette - I haven’t seen much by him, but nothing I’ve seen has impressed me[/li][/ul]

1963 - Truly an embarassment of riches here. I’m going to skip the obvious names and go for lesser known ones that I personally enjoy.

The Good:

Mark Strong - I first fell in love with him in Emma, and even though he mostly plays bad guys, I’m always still happy to see his name in the credits.

Elisabeth Shue - A memorable performance in Leaving Las Vegas, and I think that she and Ted Danson really brought new life to C.S.I.

The Bad:

More like an *embarassment *of riches…

Rob Schneider - Deuce Bigelow

Brigitte Nielsen - Strange Love