John Malkovich Filmography

The Enigmatic Filmography of John Malkovich

Have you ever pondered why some of the most gifted actors of our time often find themselves in lackluster movies? A prime example is John Malkovich’s extensive filmography. Throughout his illustrious career, spanning 91 films, 20 TV shows, a video game, two remarkable music videos, and even a couple of Nespresso commercials, Malkovich has left an indelible mark on the silver screen. Among his vast repertoire are cult classics, critically acclaimed performances, festival favorites, literary adaptations, and even box office hits. However, there are also those projects that are rather divisive, leaving audiences unsure of how to perceive them. Despite these moments, Malkovich’s talent shines through, elevating each project he undertakes.

The Bizarre Phenomenon of Forgettable Films

In the midst of the iconic roles Malkovich has portrayed, it’s easy to overlook the forgettable movies that populate his filmography. These films often slip from memory, leaving little impact on viewers. It’s as if they evaporate into thin air, overshadowed by his more memorable performances. Among such films are titles like “Velvet Buzzsaw,” “Jonah Hex,” “Eragon,” “Red 2,” “Klimt,” “Mulholland Falls,” “Mutant Chronicles,” “Supercon,” “Mile 22,” “Mary Reilly,” “The Libertine,” “Beowulf,” “Johnny English,” and “Zoolander 2.” Although these films may not achieve widespread acclaim, they undoubtedly showcase Malkovich’s versatility and willingness to embrace a variety of roles.

The Common Themes among Malkovich’s Characters

Adaptations: From Stage to Screen

Malkovich’s love for the art of acting began on the stage, and it comes as no surprise that many of his notable films are adaptations of theater plays or beloved novels. Throughout his career, he has successfully translated his stage presence to the silver screen. From powerful performances in “Death of a Salesman” and “Of Mice and Men” to memorable adaptations like “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Mary Reilly,” and “The ABC Murders,” Malkovich seamlessly transitions between mediums, captivating audiences with his commanding presence. This deep connection to literature and theater contributes to the richness and authenticity of his performances.

Impeccable Taste and Stylish Characters

Beyond his acting prowess, Malkovich possesses a keen eye for fashion and an impeccable sense of style. Whether he’s pulling off smoky eyeliner and red Christian Louboutin papal slippers in “The New Pope” or making clever fashion choices as Skip Tailor, the creator of the “Members Only” jacket in “Zoolander 2,” Malkovich’s characters possess a distinct visual aesthetic. His personal involvement in fashion companies and clothing designs adds an extra layer of authenticity to his stylish on-screen portrayals, capturing the audience’s attention and leaving a lasting impression.

A Clear Moral Identity: Heroes and Villains

Throughout his filmography, Malkovich has showcased his ability to embody characters with a clear moral identity. Whether he takes on the role of a virtuous protagonist, such as in “Places in the Heart,” or delves into the depths of villainy in “Dangerous Liaisons” or “In the Line of Fire,” Malkovich’s characters always have a distinct moral compass. Even when he portrays morally ambiguous figures, like in “Disgrace” or “Ripley’s Game,” he brings depth and complexity to their actions, making them compelling and relatable.

The Willingness to Push Boundaries: “Being John Malkovich”

However, one film in Malkovich’s career stands out as an extraordinary exploration of his own identity: “Being John Malkovich.” This surreal and mind-bending movie, written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze, takes the concept of identity and self-discovery to new heights. Malkovich fearlessly delves into the role of a fictionalized version of himself, grappling with the disorienting experience of others occupying his mind. This groundbreaking film showcases Malkovich’s willingness to embrace unconventional projects that challenge the boundaries of traditional storytelling.


John Malkovich’s filmography is a rich tapestry of diverse roles and captivating performances. From adaptations to stylish characters, moral identities, and boundary-pushing projects, Malkovich consistently surprises and captivates audiences. His ability to seamlessly transition between the stage and screen, along with his impeccable taste and willingness to explore unconventional roles, sets him apart as one of the greatest actors of our time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How many movies has John Malkovich starred in?

Throughout his career, John Malkovich has appeared in a total of 91 films, showcasing his versatility and dedication to his craft.

2. What are some of John Malkovich’s most iconic films?

John Malkovich has delivered unforgettable performances in films such as “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Being John Malkovich,” “In the Line of Fire,” “Shadow of the Vampire,” and “Of Mice and Men,” to name just a few.

3. Has John Malkovich received any awards for his acting?

Absolutely! John Malkovich is a critically acclaimed actor who has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including an Emmy Award for his role in the TV adaptation of “Death of a Salesman.”

4. What sets John Malkovich apart from other actors?

John Malkovich’s unique blend of talent, willingness to take on diverse roles, and his impeccable taste in fashion make him stand out in the world of acting. He brings depth and authenticity to each character he portrays, leaving a lasting impact on audiences.

5. What is John Malkovich’s most remarkable and unusual film?

“Being John Malkovich” is widely regarded as one of the most remarkable and unusual films in Malkovich’s career. This mind-bending exploration of identity and self-discovery showcases his fearless approach to pushing boundaries in storytelling.