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02.28.2014by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Movies to Celebrate Neeson Season

Liam Neeson has had many phases to his career ranging from appearances in films like THE DEAD POOL, EXCALIBUR, and KRULL all the way to Oscar nominated turns. Whether he is fighting CGI creations or historical atrocities, Liam Neeson is a cinematic force to be reckoned with. To celebrate the annual return of Neeson Season with the release of NON-STOP, here are the ten films you should check out to usher in the highest holiday for fans of the Irish movie star. If your favorite Neeson flick didn't make the cut, please let us know in the talk backs below.

#10 - Classy Neeson - SCHINDLER'S LIST

Liam Neeson has gone through various phases in his career but the pinnacle will likely be his performance as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's Holocaust film. The beautiful black and white is anchored by Neeson and Ralph Fiennes portraying two very different men during World War II. Neeson's nominated performance is the height of his acting talent and should have garnered him the Academy Award.

#9 - Historical Neeson - ROB ROY

A visually stunning film, ROB ROY is often looked at as a lesser film to BRAVEHEART which was released the same year. Two very different films about historical figures in Scotland, ROB ROY is a violent and sweeping movie about a common man struggling against the powers that be. Tim Roth's great turn as Archibald Cunningham almost steals the movie, but it is the swashbuckling action and dramatic power of Neeson that makes this such a good movie.

#8 - Remake Neeson - THE A-TEAM

Joe Carnahan's adaptation of the classic TV series may not be a good movie, but like he did in BATTLESHIP, Liam Neeson looks like he is having a ton of fun in a shitty blockbuster. He chews the scenery as Hannibal Smith and is one of the lone redeeming parts of a very bland movie. Neeson's platinum hair and constantly present cigar is a fitting ode to George Peppard.

#7 - Animal Lover Neeson - THE GREY

Joe Carnahan's THE GREY is the polar opposite of THE A-TEAM. It still focuses on a group of men, but instead of being mercenaries they are the ones being hunted. This time the enemy is a pack of wolves. Neeson fans were expecting his TAKEN/UNKNOWN persona to be battling the elements but instead were disappointed when they found out THE GREY is actually a thinking man's action film. Neeson proves once again that he is not just a character but rather an actor. The final, ambiguous scene is one of the best open endings in recent memory.

#6 - Paycheck Neeson - STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE

Don't lie that you weren't excited when Liam Neeson was cast in the first STAR WARS movie since 1983. Having an actor of his caliber wielding a lightsaber gave hope that the quality level of the prequels would be very high. While many were disappointed with George Lucas' effort, you cannot argue that Neeson was one of the best parts of the movie. If only they didn't kill him off after one movie.

#5 - Horror Neeson - THE HAUNTING

Jan De Bont's big budget remake of the 1963 classic fell short of expectations, but Neeson carried the Gothic haunted house movie like only he could. A more subdued performance in a CGI heavy movie may have seemed at odds, but Neeson was complemented by Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Owen Wilson. A failure, yes, but a fun failure.

#4 - Sexual Neeson - KINSEY

While Liam Neeson is considered a good looking man by many, his most sexual role was not a very sexy movie. KINSEY tells the story of a preeminent scientist researching human sexuality during the repressed early 1930s. Neeson should have been nominated for Best Actor for his great performance but came up empty yet again. Here's hoping it won't take him stripping nude to make the academy recognize his endowment to the arts.

#3 - Skilled Neeson - TAKEN

The film that ushered in The Neeson Rennaissance, TAKEN presented the actor, now in his 50s, taking on the type of role that is usually written off as Redbox fare. But, Neeson's intensity and screen presence helped elevate what would have otherwise been a generic thriller into something a hell of a lot more fun. While the films that followed have not quite lived up to it, it has certainly revitalized Neeson in the public eye.

#2 - Supervillain Neeson - BATMAN BEGINS

When Liam Neeson appeared in BATMAN BEGINS as Ducard, I did not think for a second that he was going to be some minor character easily forgotten. To make his Ra's Al Ghul was a stroke of brilliance. Unlike the bait and switch with The Mandarin, Christopher Nolan's decision to dupe us with Ken Watanabe as a fake villain ended up setting the stage for the birth of The Dark Knight. Even though Neeson gives good hero, he gives even better bad guy.

#1 - Superhero Neeson - DARKMAN

The greatest superhero movie that isn't based on a comic book, Sam Raimi's DARKMAN was followed by mediocre sequels starring Arnold Vosloo in the title role. But, it is the original starring Liam Neeson that will be remembered as the best. Over the top, pulpy, and cheezily violent, DARKMAN is the perfect movie to enjoy on a rainy day or boring Friday night. So sit back and think about how awesome it would be to see Liam Neeson play a superhero again and just take the f&cking elephant.

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10:02AM on 03/07/2014
You forgot supporting role in awesome 80's Sci-Fi flick Krull Neeson!
You forgot supporting role in awesome 80's Sci-Fi flick Krull Neeson!
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12:10PM on 03/01/2014

Thank You! Never watched Darkamn and have been wondering where that elephant clip comes from.

Also wanted to say on The Grey, it's far from my favorite movie and the ending felt like a bit of a letdown the first time I saw it but I have come to realize it may be one of the best endings I've ever seen and certainly one of the most emotional (Its impossible not to be moved once that music kicks in).
Also wanted to say on The Grey, it's far from my favorite movie and the ending felt like a bit of a letdown the first time I saw it but I have come to realize it may be one of the best endings I've ever seen and certainly one of the most emotional (Its impossible not to be moved once that music kicks in).
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3:59PM on 02/28/2014
Where's Political Leader Neeson in Michael Collins? I don't think that movie was particularly underrated at the time, but these days it seems like a forgotten gem.
Where's Political Leader Neeson in Michael Collins? I don't think that movie was particularly underrated at the time, but these days it seems like a forgotten gem.
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3:01PM on 02/28/2014

#5 - Crap Neeson - THE HAUNTING

I still consider Jan De Bont's 1999 remake of "The Haunting" the worst movie that I have ever seen. Especially considering that the original film is, as you mention, a "classic" and shows what a talented filmmaker like Robert Wise could do with the same material.
I still consider Jan De Bont's 1999 remake of "The Haunting" the worst movie that I have ever seen. Especially considering that the original film is, as you mention, a "classic" and shows what a talented filmmaker like Robert Wise could do with the same material.
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12:45PM on 02/28/2014
I thought the wolves were comically huge. I watch the fucking nature channel all the time and have maybe seen wolves half as big.
I thought the wolves were comically huge. I watch the fucking nature channel all the time and have maybe seen wolves half as big.
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+0
12:13PM on 02/28/2014
This is a badass movie. If you haven't seen it, do!
This is a badass movie. If you haven't seen it, do!
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8:13AM on 02/28/2014
I just watched this the other day! It's so freaking awesome!
I just watched this the other day! It's so freaking awesome!
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8:12AM on 02/28/2014
He's fine in the role, but jabbing "Iron Man 3" like that is a low blow. The 'twist' here is so poorly revealed (from a technical standpoint), and given such little time to properly develop, that while it could have been interesting, it seems more like a rushed script change.

Whatever you may think of "IM3" 's reveal, it least happens early enough to have real consequences and the final fight doesn't neglect a main baddie by being too stupid to know what to do with him (seriously, Scarecrow
He's fine in the role, but jabbing "Iron Man 3" like that is a low blow. The 'twist' here is so poorly revealed (from a technical standpoint), and given such little time to properly develop, that while it could have been interesting, it seems more like a rushed script change.

Whatever you may think of "IM3" 's reveal, it least happens early enough to have real consequences and the final fight doesn't neglect a main baddie by being too stupid to know what to do with him (seriously, Scarecrow gets taser on a horse? WTF? How is this movie taken seriously?)
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8:06AM on 02/28/2014
Neeson is excellent in a poorly written role, 100% agreed.
Neeson is excellent in a poorly written role, 100% agreed.
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8:04AM on 02/28/2014
This movie was awesome! Great editing, and a sense of fun with good action sequences led me to loving it.
This movie was awesome! Great editing, and a sense of fun with good action sequences led me to loving it.
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8:03AM on 02/28/2014
I am so glad this made the list! I adore everything about this movie!
I am so glad this made the list! I adore everything about this movie!
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5:41AM on 02/28/2014
"Twisting Index Finger" Neeson. This is probably his best role.
"Twisting Index Finger" Neeson. This is probably his best role.
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5:38AM on 02/28/2014
A Milestone and iconic role for Mr. Neeson.
A Milestone and iconic role for Mr. Neeson.
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5:29AM on 02/28/2014
So much fun, and to see Frances McDormand as the female lead in a genre film of this type is quite a novelty, since we're all most familiar with her work with the Coen Brothers. I'd also like to add "Animated Neeson" from The LEGO Movie. He was arguably the best part of a film crammed with good parts.
So much fun, and to see Frances McDormand as the female lead in a genre film of this type is quite a novelty, since we're all most familiar with her work with the Coen Brothers. I'd also like to add "Animated Neeson" from The LEGO Movie. He was arguably the best part of a film crammed with good parts.
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5:28AM on 02/28/2014
Probably my favourite of his roles. Not the most stunning performance Neeson has ever delivered, to be sure, but I think it was his first time as a villain and he was so compelling, putting a dark twist on the mentor archetype he's become so good at playing. Awesome, awesome role.
Probably my favourite of his roles. Not the most stunning performance Neeson has ever delivered, to be sure, but I think it was his first time as a villain and he was so compelling, putting a dark twist on the mentor archetype he's become so good at playing. Awesome, awesome role.
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5:25AM on 02/28/2014
Sorry this keeps happening.
Sorry this keeps happening.
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5:25AM on 02/28/2014
I'm glad this was as massive a success as it was. I don't think the sequel is terrible, just mediocre, but still watchable thanks to Neeson.
I'm glad this was as massive a success as it was. I don't think the sequel is terrible, just mediocre, but still watchable thanks to Neeson.
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5:23AM on 02/28/2014
Very charismatic here.
Very charismatic here.
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5:22AM on 02/28/2014
Ooooo phantom post oooooo
Ooooo phantom post oooooo
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5:22AM on 02/28/2014
This is hilarious. The CGI in it isn't scary for a half second. But hey, Catherine Zeta-Jones in lingerie!
This is hilarious. The CGI in it isn't scary for a half second. But hey, Catherine Zeta-Jones in lingerie!
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5:21AM on 02/28/2014
Jar Jar did take a lot of the dignity away from the franchise but I think Neeson gave some of it back.
Jar Jar did take a lot of the dignity away from the franchise but I think Neeson gave some of it back.
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5:19AM on 02/28/2014
Maybe "Animal Lover" is not the right term...
Maybe "Animal Lover" is not the right term...
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5:18AM on 02/28/2014
One hell of an under-loved good time. Sharlto Copley stole the show but Neeson was excellent as well, at no point did it look like he was phoning it what is a pretty silly role. He had fun with this and so did I.
One hell of an under-loved good time. Sharlto Copley stole the show but Neeson was excellent as well, at no point did it look like he was phoning it what is a pretty silly role. He had fun with this and so did I.
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5:15AM on 02/28/2014
The makers of the Neeson Season music video also did a two-part Schindler's List "musical", which is a lot more sombre than their usual fare and actually very moving: [link] and [link]
The makers of the Neeson Season music video also did a two-part Schindler's List "musical", which is a lot more sombre than their usual fare and actually very moving: [link] and [link]
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4:57AM on 02/28/2014
Even Liam Neeson couldn't save this movie.
Even Liam Neeson couldn't save this movie.
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4:49AM on 02/28/2014
I thought this movie would be in the top 3 but Liam Neeson was great in this movie.
I thought this movie would be in the top 3 but Liam Neeson was great in this movie.
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4:47AM on 02/28/2014
Liam Neeson owns this role. The whole cast has great chemistry.
Liam Neeson owns this role. The whole cast has great chemistry.
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3:28AM on 02/28/2014
I've always considered this right up there with braveheart
I've always considered this right up there with braveheart
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2:22AM on 02/28/2014

Best Neeson

I am bummed there is no mention of High Spirits with Gutenburg and Peter O'Tool
I am bummed there is no mention of High Spirits with Gutenburg and Peter O'Tool
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2:02AM on 02/28/2014
i love darkman one of my fav movies
i love darkman one of my fav movies
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12:48AM on 02/28/2014
What about religious Neeson in Gangs of New York .
What about religious Neeson in Gangs of New York .
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12:43AM on 02/28/2014
Shitty? Bland?

I fucking loved this film. So much fun with alot of great action and one liners. Would have loved to have seen a sequel.
Shitty? Bland?

I fucking loved this film. So much fun with alot of great action and one liners. Would have loved to have seen a sequel.
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