Best Johnny Depp Movies of All Time

One of the most well-known and popular actors in Hollywood is Johnny Depp. Although he might not have won an Academy Award, he has been a nominee three times and got other honors like a Golden Globe. TechTrends made a list of the best Johnny Depp movies of all time.

Johnny Depp is well-known for the characters he portrays and how he immerses himself in his roles. Some of the most popular and notable ones are Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Willy Wonka and Edward Scissorhands. He has a long resume in movies and career in TV. He is currently in a defamation trial with his former wife Amber Heard. She accused him of domestic abuse back in 2016 before they got a divorce. In 2018, she published an op-Ed in Washington Post. However, although it did not include Depp’s name it alluded to him. Depp’s career has been affected as a result of those allegations and he decided to file a defamation suit. This has even led Depp to make a decision not to go back to the Pirates movies when Disney deemed him guilty until proven innocent.

Therefore, TechTrends decided to make a list of the best Johnny Depp movies of all time for those who are a fan or became one, watching the trial.

Best Johnny Depp Movies of All Time

Johnny Depp, as one of the most enigmatic actors out there, has put together a remarkably diverse collection of film roles. Considering his significant career, you might wonder what his best movies are. TechTrends tabulated the best Johnny Depp movies of all time and made a list of his greatest screen performances for you. Without further ado, let’s get to the list.

Edward Scissorhands 1990

  • Genre: Fantasy/Romance
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 90%, IMDb 7.9

Directed by Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands was a movie starred by Johnny Depp, who played the role of modern-day Frankenstein’s monster that has scissors for hands. This is one of the best Johnny Depp Movies of all time and is considered one of the greatest gothic fantasy films that is heartfelt and compassionate. Notwithstanding having elements such as horror that are added to the plot, the movie is a touching examination of loneliness and being socially excluded.

Johnny Depp performs incredibly in the titular role, portraying Edward as a relatable and sympathetic protagonist that helps the story thrive. Winona Ryder also pulls off an incredible performance as Edward’s love interest, with the two developing a bond throughout the movie. The movie depicts Edward as an outcast for his hands that are scissors. He lived in the darkness before a kind woman takes her home. The main character is portrayed as a hero as he is extremely misunderstood and tries to change people’s lives for that matter.

The setting of the movie appears to take place in the 1960s but it has elaborate security systems and CD players, referencing modern-day technology. Depp got his first Golden Globe nomination after this movie.

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What’s Eating Gilbert Grape 1993

  • Genre: Drama
  • Director: Lasse Hallström
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Darlene Cates, Juliette Lewis
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 90%, IMDb 7.7

Featuring in the movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Johnny Depp had a change of pace. The movie is a drama that takes place in a small town in which Depp takes care of his morbidly obese mom and his younger brother who is mentally challenged. The vibrant heart and soul of the Gilbert Grape is Depp’s performance. Moreover, the chemistry shown between DiCaprio and Depp is incredibly convincing, making the audience believe that these two characters are truly brothers. This is indeed one of the best Johnny Depp movies of all time. Depp, who takes care of his mother and brother, meets the free-spirited Becky (Juliette Lewis), who shakes up his life.

This movie presents a dysfunctional family that is trying to function in the best way they know how, portraying true compassion. In addition, it portrays the importance of support in times of need, when somebody you love is suffering from a mental disorder.

Donnie Brasco 1997

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Director: Mike Newell
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Al Pacino, Michael Madsen.
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 88%, IMDb 7.7

Another one of the best Johnny Depp movies of all time is this abrupt change of image for the famous actor in the true story of a young FBI agent. Johnny’s character goes undercover as “The Jewel Man”, Donnie Brasco. He then finds himself embedded deep in the Bonnano crime family. He creates a relationship with mob hit man Benjamin (Al Pacino) to go further under cover. However, his friendship ends up being a real one with the Mafioso. With their relationship developing, Pistone should decide whether to do his job, as it may lead to the murder of his newfound friend.

This movie has developed Depp’s career a lot as he showed that he is also able to work in genres other than arty kinds. He also answered the question as to if he is able to keep up with the likes of Al Pacino.

Pirates of the Caribbean series (2003, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2017)

  • Genre: Action/Comedy/Fantasy/Adventure
  • Director: Gore Verbinski, Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg, Rob Marshall
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush

Johnny Depp literally captured lightning in a bottle when he decided to model his pirate Jack Sparrow. Disney executives thought Depp’s bold approach to be a flop if continued. However, it was far from a flop, with Depp’s now iconic pirate being in the center of a five-film franchise. For the first film in the series called “The Curse of the Black Pearl”, Depp received the Best Actor award and was nominated for the Oscar and the Golden Globe. For the second film in the series, Dead Man’s Chest, Depp got his seventh nomination for Golden Globe.

Captain Jack Sparrow, portrayed by Johnny Depp, acts in a sweeping action-adventure story that takes place in an era when villainous pirates scavenged the Caribbean seas. These series of movies are indeed some of the best Johnny Depp movies ever.

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Finding Neverland 2004

  • Genre: Drama/Family
  • Director: Marc Forster
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Freddie Highmore, Dustin Hoffman
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 83%, IMDb 7.7

The next one on the list of the best Johnny Depp movies of all time is Finding Neverlands. This is an adaptation of the Peter Pan classic written by J.M. Barrie. The movie was surprising as it focused on Barrie himself and how he wrote the beloved story favored by children. Depp’s performance was uncharacteristically restrained, with critics insisting how spot on the tone of capturing Barrie was. This was also the opinion of the people in the film industry as Depp got nominated for Best Actor in the Oscar, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild.

This movie portrays a part of author J.M. Barrie’s life (Johnny Depp), revealing the relationships and events that led to the author’s most iconic work, Peter Pan. Following a platonic relationship with the widowed Sylvia (Kate Winslet) and her sons. This inspired him to write a play about some children who do not like to grow up.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2005

  • Genre: Fantasy/Family
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, Julia Winter, Philip Wiegratz, Helena Bonham-Carter
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 83%, IMDb 6.6

Another one of the most amazing movies Johnny Depp has played in is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This is a remarkable classic children’s movie and Tim Burton’s version of the beloved Roald Dahl is in a much darker tone that is closer to Dahl’s book when compared with the 1971 Gene Wilder “Wilder Wonka” classic. Depp portrays the darker version of eccentric candy-maker Willy Wonka, but his character is played in a way that shows he has been hurt in the past. Therefore, being the beloved Candy Man is how he tries to cope with that problem. This is indeed one of the best Johnny Depp movies of all time, for which Depp got six Best Actor nominations at the Golden Globes.

This comedy and fantasy movie is about a young Charlie Bucket, played by Freddie Highmore, and his Grandpa Jo, played by David Kelly. Then, they participate in a contest where the winners get to tour the magical factory of candy-maker Willy Wonka. Wonka, however, has a secret motivation for the tour, which will be revealed when children show their true colors.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

  • Genre: Musical/Horror
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 86%, IMDb 7.3

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton did yet another movie together and it was also one of the best Johnny Depp movies of all time. Depp portrays a barber in 1840s London, who was imprisoned for the death of his wife but wrongfully. Therefore, he decides to take revenge by killing the ones involved in his imprisonment during haircuts and shaves. Following that, the woman who is below his shop makes pie from them. This is indeed one of the most-wild musical movies ever.

This is Depp’s first move into the musical world, with composer Stephen Sondheim proving it to be a beneficial one. After this performance, Depp won the Golden Globe as Sweeney Todd and got nominated for the Oscar and SAG. This character, Sweeney, is a dark character as he is vengeful and slits the throats of his enemies. He, then, gives the filling to help his partner’s meat pie business. Depp performed incredibly amazing in this movie and it is one of the best must see Johnny Depp performances.

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Public Enemies 2009

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Director: Michael Mann
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 68%, IMDb 7

In Public Enemies, Johnny Depp depicts the role of an infamous bank robber named John Dillinger during the Great Depression. The movie takes place in the 1930s mobster crime wave. Depp’s take on this role was that of Dillinger-as-rock-star, as a man who did not have any authority, an image satisfying to a public who are devastated by the impacts of the Great Depression. Moreover, Depp needed to show physicality in his performance like never before as he carries himself as Dillinger, as well as always being on the run.

Alice in Wonderland 2010

  • Genre: Fantasy/Family
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-Carter
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 51%, IMDb 6.4

Although the title role is for Mia Wasikowska in this movie directed by Tim Burton, all eyes are on Depp’s performance, portraying the maddest of Mad Hatters. In Alice in Wonderland, he has bright orange hair and an oversized top hat. Depp is a walking embodiment of movies directed by Tim Burton. Depp shows us Hatter’s tender side during his scenes with Alice, forging a bond with her. He recognized that the two have something in common and that is they are both outsiders in the strange wonderland. For the role he had in this yet another one of the best Johnny Depp films ever, he got his tenth nomination for Golden Globe.

Casting Depp in this movie was Disney’s best decision as he brings in totally unfamiliar energy to the Hatter, making him interesting to watch.

Black Mass 2015

  • Genre: Crime/Drama
  • Director: Scott Cooper
  • Stars: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 73%, IMDb 6.9

Depp’s third SAG Best Actor Nomination came for his remarkable performance in Black Mass, where he portrayed famed South Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger. With incredible prosthetic makeup, Depp could disappear into the character’s persona. The interior performance of the actor is the most gripping, as he keeps most of his rage buried under a serene façade, and then it is exploded into violent outbursts. One of Johnny Depp greatest movie roles is portrayed in Black Mass. And he got his third Screen Actors Guild nomination after this movie.

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Final Thoughts

Johnny Depp is regarded as one of the most influential actors of his time. In addition, his movies are distinct and unique. His most popular works are with director Tim Burton and he played numerous roles. Therefore, TechTrends made a list of the best Johnny Depp films of all time to give a glimpse into the actor’s remarkable career.

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