Solid (not ''big name'') actors in quality roles

So I’m watching The Woodsman, and Kevin Bacon’s really impressing me with his role as Walter, the pedophile who did 12 years.

Now, I’ve always thought that Kevin Bacon’s a solid actor. Not one that you would mention in the “upper tier” conversations, but he always delivers a good performance. He’s usually worked in ensemble casts, though, and always seems to go unmentioned.

Lest this turn into a “Kevin Bacon Appreciation Thread,” (which I wouldn’t object to), I’d also nominate Dennis Quaid (who I DID start an “Appreciation Thread” about a while back). Case in point is The Rookie. Quaid’s an actor who always has the ability to knock it out of the park.

Laurence Fishburne and Tim Robbins (though Robbins may have moved into the upper ranks with his Oscar win for Mystic River).

Any others? I’m obviously excluding an Edward Norton or Gary Oldman, etc. Who, while they may not be thought of in the “upper ranks” conversations in the real world as quickly as a DeNiro or a Pacino, cwertainly seem to have their share of fans on the Dope. Me included.

But who else do you just know is going to deliver a good performance? Someone that most people may kinda take for granted?

I’ve always liked Tom Skerritt. He usually does a pretty good job.

Gary Cole is underrated, too.

Good choice. Not many people can play evil as well as Lumburgh.

Kevin Kline. He can do comedy and drama and everything in between, and he usually picks interesting roles.

William H. Macy is always very good but never seems to make it to stardom. I last saw him being amazing in The Cooler.

Likewise, Chris Cooper, who I get confused with William H. Macy.

Dennis Quaid really suprised me in Frequency. I think he is a little underrated – it seems Inner Space is going to mark him for life or something.

Alan Rickman has gone to the next level of recognition as Snape in Harry Potter…, but before that, he was still definitely solid yet somewhat unknown. A step above Hey It’s That Guy material, but only a small step.

Harry Dean Stanton has been uniformly excellent in everything I’ve ever seen him in.

Gene Hackman.

For forty years he has been working continously, and ALWAYS turns in a grounded, real performance. No matter how big a piece of crap the film is, he is consistently professional.

I usually go out of my way to watch anything with Tony Shaloub, Mark Wahlberg , or Don Cheadle in it, though the material itself hasn’t always been the greatest.

I’ll grant you Shaloub and Don Cheadle (who I LOVED in Devil In a Blue Dress). Wahlberg’s never really impressed me.

I’m a big J.K. Simmons fan, and like I’ve said before in this forum, he’s the best thing about the Spider-man movies.

I’ll also cast my vote for Cheadle.

Brad Dourif (Grima Wormtongue to most of you) has always turned in solid performances despite being in some pretty crappy movies. I’m watching him right now in Alien Resurrection and he’s awesome…despite the film itself. Aww, the Aliens just got him. Guess it’s time to change the channel.

I think Stephen Root is brilliant and am continually baffled as to why we don’t see him in larger roles.

When did Cafe Society become a boys club??? 13 posts and no one has given any women as examples?

May I offer:

Maura Tierney
Laurie Metcalf
Janet McTeer
Helena Bonham Carter
Catherine Keener
Mia Farrow
Marlee Matlin
Jane Adams

Thank you. I was wondering where the women were.

Meryl Streep is a big name, but I just love her. I’ve never seen her give a mediocre performance.

Also, a few more favs:

Laura Linney
Diane Lane
Alfre Woodard
Kathy Bates
Olympia Dukakis
Angela Bassett
Ashley Judd

I just rewatched (after many years) Devil in a Blue Dress on cable last night. Cheadle’s performance elevated that entire film for me. He’s yet to botch a role that I’ve seen and rises to the status of Harry Dean Stanton, Strother Martin, Jack Elam, M. Emmet Walsh, R. Lee Ermey, Lee Van Cleef, and Gene Hackman in that regard. Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones are closer to the “big star” category, but I expect to be entertained in any movie they’ve been in, even though TLJ has been in some real stinkers.

JT Walsh did some good work. A pity he died so soon.

Jeff Bridges
Steve Buscemi
Jeff Daniels
Stanley Tucci
Gary Sinise
Courtney B. Vance
Don Cheadle
John C. Reilly
Tim Roth
Phillip Seymore Hoffman

Sam Elliott, especially when he’s in a Western.

I recently re-viewed Brian de Palma’s Obsession, and was struck by Cliff Robertson’s fine, understated performance. Robertson won an Oscar for Charly, but has been largely overlooked when people discuss good actors.