Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

By Tommy Lethbridge Published 1 minute ago

Benicio del Toro has had one of the most extensive and varied careers in Hollywood. Here are the 57-year-old actor’s 10 best movies so far.

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked


  • Benicio del Toro's diverse acting range shines in blockbuster hits and independent films alike.
  • Del Toro's chilling performances in iconic movies like "The Usual Suspects" and "Sicario" leave a lasting impact.
  • Collaborations with acclaimed directors like Steven Soderbergh in "Traffic" showcase del Toro's award-winning talent.


Over an extensive and eclectic career, Puerto Rican star Benicio del Toro has appeared in dozens of great movies. After making his debut in the late 1980s, del Toro has established himself as a chameleonic performer, capable of transforming from charming to terrifying &- occasionally within the same scene. As such, his acting resumé includes some of the most significant releases of the past four decades.

Such is the diversity of his portfolio that many of del Toro's most famous performances don't even feature in his top 10 all-time movies. Roles in projects like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Che, and Inherent Vice &- while celebrated &- prove that even in movies with flaws elsewhere, del Toro almost always stands out. Not only is he a regular in major blockbusters, but the 57-year-old has also proved himself capable of carrying comparatively small independent released. Consequently, Benicio del Toro's best movies span a range of genres and feature something for everyone.

10 Licence To Kill (1989)

Del Toro establishes his credentials from the outset

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Director John Glen Release Date July 14, 1989 Cast Timothy Dalton , Robert Davi , Carey Lowell , Talisa Soto , Anthony Zerbe

Despite being Benicio del Toro's second movie role, the young actor stole the show as Sanchez's sadistic enforcer Dario. While his performance was genuinely sinister, it was perfect for Licence To Kill's dark, brooding tone. At the time, Timothy Dalton's second James Bond movie was seen as a radical departure for the series &- especially after the goofy campiness of the Moore years. Today, however, it is rightly seen as a bold and innovative precursor to Daniel Craig's successful reinvention of the character &- a legacy that would not have been possible without del Toro's role.

9 Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

Johnson's controversial Episode VIII is aided by del Toro

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Director Rian Johnson Release Date December 15, 2017 Cast Daisy Ridley , Oscar Isaac , Mark Hamill , Carrie Fisher , John Boyega , Adam Driver , Andy Serkis , Lupita Nyong'o , Anthony Daniels , Gwendoline Christie , Kelly Marie Tran , Laura Dern Runtime 152 Minutes

Despite a polarizing reputation among some corners of the fanbase, The Last Jedi remains a high water mark for the Star Wars saga since Disney's takeover. Part of the reason for this is director Rian Johnson's radical departure from the series' formula &- a departure aided by performances like del Toro's as the scheming and conniving DJ. While his role may be minimal compared to other projects, his portrayal of the character helps buttress the movie's Canto Bight act &- otherwise the weakest part of the film. The Last Jedi may not be for everyone, but it would undoubtedly be even more divisive without del Toro.

8 Snatch (2000)

Del Toro completes a stellar ensemble

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Director Guy Ritchie Release Date January 19, 2001 Cast Benicio Del Toro , Jason Statham , Lennie James , Alan Ford , Stephen Graham , Dennis Farina , Brad Pitt , Vinnie Jones Runtime 102 minutes

Following the success of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels in 1998, Guy Ritchie created an even more accomplished caper with Snatch. Spinning a complex yarn of diamond theft, illegal boxing, and organized crime, the movie features iconic performances from Jason Statham and Brad Pitt. Despite the involvement of major stars, del Toro more than holds his own against the rest of the Snatch cast as the ludomaniac jewel thief Franky "Four Fingers" &- so named after an altercation over a debt got out of hand. The movie was well-received on release and has since become a cult classic.

7 Sin City (2005)

Frank Miller's dark vision comes to life

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Director Robert Rodriguez , Quentin Tarantino , Frank Miller Release Date April 1, 2005 Cast Rosario Dawson , Bruce Willis , Jessica Alba , Elijah Wood , Benicio Del Toro , Clive Owen Runtime 124 minutes

Like many of Benicio del Toro's best movies, Sin City sees the actor play a key role as part of an ensemble. A noticeable difference here, however, is that del Toro himself is almost unrecognizable, sporting substantial prosthetics and obfuscatory makeup. Nevertheless, the actor gives a darkly funny performance as Jackie Boy, a degenerate and corrupt police officer whose death nearly sparks an inter-city war. Del Toro's post-mortem conversations with Clive Owen's Dwight McCarthy are gruesome and hilarious and help the unorthodox graphic novel adaptation succeed.

6 Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)

James Gunn reinvents the MCU

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Director James Gunn Release Date July 30, 2014 Cast Zoe Saldana , Karen Gillan , Vin Diesel , Michael Rooker , Djimon Hounsou , Lee Pace , Benicio Del Toro , Glenn Close , Dave Bautista , ​Chris Pratt2 , Bradley Cooper , John C. Reilly Runtime 122 Mins

Given the MCU's turbulence post-Endgame, it's easy to forget that it has previously been one of the most critically and financially successful franchises of all time. A major part of this success was 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. Unlike previous MCU installments, Guardians focused on the adventures of what was then considered a relatively minor team in Marvel's extensive back catalog. The movie propelled them to stardom, with able support from del Toro's turn as Collector Taneleer Tivan. Del Toro's performance was both enigmatic and beguiling, augmenting what is undoubtedly one of the best MCU movies to date.

5 No Sudden Move (2021)

Del Toro thrives with a regular collaborator

Close Director Steven Soderbergh Release Date July 1, 2021 Cast Noah Jupe , Craig muMs Grant , Don Cheadle , Amy Seimetz , Benicio Del Toro , Jon Hamm , Ray Liotta , Frankie Shaw , Bill Duke , Brendan Fraser , Matt Damon , David Harbour , Byron Bowers , Kieran Culkin , Julia Fox Runtime 115 minutes

Although del Toro has worked with dozens of directors in his career, arguably his most successful partnership to date has been with Steven Soderbergh. While the pair's collaboration on Che earned del Toro considerable plaudits, No Sudden Move is far superior as a complete work. Like other Soderbergh capers such as Ocean's Eleven, No Sudden Move is a break-neck thriller that employs an extensive ensemble cast to deliver a twisted and satisfying intelligent story. Del Toro has a key role as Ronald Russo, and the movie's impressive 92% Rotten Tomatoes rating is testament to the story's overall success.

4 The Usual Suspects (1995)

Bryan Singer's masterpiece succeeds on the back of its cast

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Director Bryan Singer Release Date August 16, 1995 Cast Kevin Spacey , Kevin Pollak , Benicio Del Toro , Gabriel Byrne , stephen baldwin , Chazz Palminteri Runtime 106 minutes

Another example of Benicio del Toro thriving within the context of an ensemble cast, The Usual Suspects remains a great thriller nearly 30 years on from its release. Bryan Singer's taut and deceptive crime flick tells the story of a disparate crew of criminals who find themselves in the thrall of sinister mastermind Keyser Söze. As Fred Fenster, del Toro stood out thanks to his nearly incomprehensible intonation and his memorable line delivery in the movie's famously improvised police lineup scene. The Usual Suspects has since cemented its status as a genre classic, in large part thanks to its often-parodied twist ending.

3 21 Grams (2003)

Del Toro delivers a devastating performance

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu Release Date September 6, 2003 Cast Sean Penn , Naomi Watts , Danny Huston , Carly Nahon , Claire Pakis , Benicio Del Toro Runtime 124 minutes

A powerful meditation on death and its aftermath, 21 Grams forms the central pillar in director Alejandro González Iñárritu's acclaimed "Trilogy of Death" movies. While both Amores perros and Babel were generally praised, 21 Grams represents the artistic peak of the series, largely thanks to del Toro's empathetic and heartbreaking role as recovering drug addict Jack. The movie's unorthodox structure and tragic themes require all the actors to display incredible range &- a challenge del Toro rises to ably. It's no surprise he was nominated for an Academy Award for his efforts.

2 Sicario (2015)

Del Toro shines in Villeneuve's pulsating thriller

Close Director Denis Villeneuve Release Date September 18, 2015 Cast Benicio Del Toro , Emily Blunt , Josh Brolin , Jeffrey Donovan , Jon Bernthal , Victor Garber Runtime 121minutes

One of the most highly-regarded action-thrillers of the past few decades, Denis Villeneuve's Sicario explores the muddy waters that surround any effort to fight crime. The movie was universally praised for its tense atmosphere and memorable set pieces (including an iconic border scene that is almost unbearable). Within this context, del Toro's performance as the haunted and vengeful Alejandro Gillick is extraordinary, giving the film a raw emotional edge that perfectly compliments the action. The actor received a BAFTA nomination for his efforts, while Sicario received several Academy Awards-nods.

1 Traffic (2000)

Soderbergh's award-winning drama earns del Toro acclaim

Benicio del Toro’s 10 Best Movies, Ranked

Director Steven Soderbergh Release Date December 27, 2000 Cast Don Cheadle , Benicio Del Toro , Michael Douglas , Luis Guzman , Dennis Quaid , Catherine Zeta-Jones Runtime 147 Minutes

Ambitious and ably executed, Steven Soderbergh's Traffic is a nuanced and riveting look at the complicated world of illegal drug smuggling told from multiple different perspectives. Given this intricate approach, every performance in Traffic had to be on point. Fortunately for Soderbergh, del Toro more than delivered. His portrayal of Javier Rodriguez was lauded for its subtlety and power, earning del Toro a string of awards &- including an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. The movie itself was also regarded as a triumph, making Traffic not just the best del Toro/Soderbergh collaboration, but also the best Benicio del Toro movie to date.

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