Whatever your plans are for this weekend, chances are they don't include seeing I, Frankenstein. The new movie, a dystopia about the famous monster's involvement in a war between gargoyles and demons (seriously), has all the signs of disaster: little press, few reviews, and an ungodly terrible I, Frankenstein trailer. In most cases, skipping the film wouldn't even be a question. Yet one simple fact keeps me from writing it off so quickly — it stars Aaron Eckhart.
You see, Eckhart, he of Dark Knight fame, is a great actor. He's starred in several high-quality movies, has a successful career in theater, and can go from romantic-comedy lead to action star with impressive ease. So what is he doing taking on I, Frankenstein, a movie that's guaranteed to be a critical and financial disaster? Sure, Eckhart's probably not getting quite as many offers as he did in his Harvey Dent days, but there has to have been an alternative. Please, don't let Frankenstein have been the best offer Eckhart's gotten in the past few years — that's too sad to even think about.
Hopefully, Frankenstein is just a small career misstep that won't completely tarnish Eckhart's status as a quality actor. Just in case, though, take a look back at some of the actor's best past roles to remind yourself that Eckhart is capable of much, much more than I, Frankenstein:
7. No Reservations
You know what's great about No Reservations? Everything. The feminist storyline, the presence of 10-year-old Abigail Breslin, the incredible-looking food porn — all of it makes for one above-average romantic comedy. And Aaron Eckhart, as a charming, confident sous chef who helps grief-stricken Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) to open up, is the cherry on top of the cake.
6. The Pledge
The Pledge may not have been a box office success (it barely made back it's $35 million budget), but it fared much better critically, thanks in large part to the performances of its leading actors. Eckhart, starring alongside Jack Nicholson and Patricia Clarkson, wowed reviewers with his performance as a detective skeptical of a colleague's belief that a killer is on the loose.
5. Rabbit Hole
Most of the praise for Rabbit Hole, John Cameron Mitchell's film adaptation of the award-winning play, was given to star Nicole Kidman, and while the actress' portrayal of a grieving mom is worthy of acclaim, the film's supporting cast shouldn't get overlooked. Dianne West, Sandra Oh, Miles Teller (in his feature film debut) and, of course, Aaron Eckhart, all deserve notice for their outstanding performances. Eckhart, playing Howie, a man furious at the world for his son's tragic death, was heartbreaking in every scene.
4. In the Company of Men
In Neil LaBute's 1997 black comedy, Eckhart played Chad, a cruel, manipulative worker whose fantasies of revenge against women lead to serious consequences. It's a difficult, unforgiving role, but Eckhart plays it masterfully. His acclaimed performance earned him Best Debut at the Indie Spirit Awards.
3. Erin Brockovich
Yes, Erin Brockovich is Julia Roberts' movie, but disregarding Aaron Eckhart as the love-struck neighbor who looks after the lawyer's kids would be a big mistake. It's a small role, but Eckhart makes it matter. Also, THAT HAIR.
2. Thank You For Smoking
Who knew a movie about cigarettes would be so good? Jason Reitman's directorial debut starred Eckhart as a tobacco lobbyist who fights for the right to smoke was a critical and commercial success, launching Reitman's career and throwing Eckhart (who earned a Golden Globe nomination for the role) into the spotlight.
1. The Dark Knight
Eckhart could've played an extra on the street in this movie, and it still would be at number one. The Dark Knight, the second and best of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, is just that good. Thankfully, Eckhart starred as Harvey Dent, Gotham's once-innocent district attorney who, as Two-Face, vows to seek revenge on all who've wronged him. It's a tricky character, but Eckhart nails it, giving a performance that helps make The Dark Knight one of the best films, superhero or not, of the decade.
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