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Joaquin Phoenix’s best performances: Walk the Line, The Master in the list

That Joaquin Phoenix is talented is old news, and that he is versatile is a fact and is therefore not up for debate. Here is looking at the Joker star's most moving works.

Written by Anvita Singh | New Delhi |
October 1, 2019 8:03:30 pm
joaquin phoenix movies Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line (left) and Gladiator.

Joaquin Phoenix has been receiving rave reviews for his performance in upcoming DC film Joker. And this is certainly not the first time the Hollywood star has won accolades for his acting. Here’s looking at some of the best performances of Phoenix over the years.


As the father-murdering, war-mongering and truly evil Commodus, Joaquin Phoenix showed us how far a man can go if he is pushed to the edge. And what is interesting in this case is that no one actually motivates Phoenix’s character to do the aforementioned amoral deeds, he is a man who is only answerable to himself. From the perpetual sneer to his sharp, calculating brain, Phoenix inhabits the character of the warrior in the way only he can.

Gladiator is available for streaming on Netflix.

Walk the Line

This might be my favourite Joaquin Phoenix performance. In the Academy Award-nominated musical drama Walk the Line, Phoenix plays the legendary country musician Johnny Cash. And what is remarkable about this performance is that not only did Phoenix enact Cash, but he also sang as Cash, which is no ordinary feat to achieve. Watch it to believe it.

Walk the Line is available for streaming on YouTube.


In this 2013 Spike Jonze directorial, Phoenix is Theodore Twombly who falls in love with his Operating System (OS). The movie beautifully discusses the themes of loneliness, love and longing. And Phoenix gives a nuanced performance as the sensitive and introverted writer. The movie also features Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde and Amy Adams in significant parts.

Her is available for streaming on Netflix.

The Master

The Paul Thomas Anderson directorial transcends many genres. It is said to be partly inspired by Scientology and tells the story of a war veteran whose life is loosely adapted from American author John Steinbeck’s own life. It also starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern and Rami Malek. The movie received three Academy Award nominations — Best Actor for Phoenix, Best Supporting Actor for Hoffman, and Best Supporting Actress for Adams.

Joaquin Phoenix gave a gripping performance as the unhinged Freddie Quell. He is at once disturbing and disarming as the man who is constantly seeking to find a new meaning to his life after suffering serious trauma during battle.

The Master is available for streaming on YouTube.

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