With the opening of his new film Draft Day (Review HERE) opening Friday The Snobs here decided to take a look back at Costner and his resume. It’s one brimming with sports films (including Draft Day, which we’ve excluded because you guys haven’t seen it yet.), and period pieces. Whether he’s building it so they will come, or raising the man of steel Costner always brings that smug charm that’s always served him well. Without further ado let’s get to it with number ten…
10. Tin Cup (1996): Costner plays Roy McAvoy, a driving range owner, and talented golfer…who lives in the middle of nowhere. He spends more time drinking beer then running his “business”. That is until Molly (Renee Russo) the towns new psychologist changes his life. Costner is as nonchalant as it gets here. Russo plays an interesting juxaposition with Molly, offering both a nuisance to Roy, and his only beacon of hope. It’s 90’s romcom cheese but Costner and Russo sell the crap out of it!
8. Man of Steel (2013): Is this cheating? You know since Costner isn’t the focal point. Nope! Without Jonathan Kent what would become of young Clark? Especially after that whole implosion of his home planet thing. Costner plays the man responsible for not only teaching our future Man of Steel how to be a man, but deal with his extraordinary gifts. He does so with a fatherly pathos that makes us wish he were our dad. Overall, without Jonathan’s guidance who knows what would’ve become of Superman.
7. JFK (1991): Yeah, 91 was really good to Costner. Not only as our number nine pick from 1991, but this Oliver Stone masterpiece came out. Stone never one to shy from controversy delves into some interesting theories here, and Costner as New Orleans DA Jim Garrison show grit, and passion in his role. Let’s not lie though Gary Oldman freaking rules in this movie as “alleged” trigger man Lee Harvey Oswald. Sometimes it seems like the entire production is flying by the seat of it’s pants and Costner is on the forefront of that assumption. His fearless bravado brings this character to life. A character whom he looks not alike, but after this we cannot imagine anyone else in this role. Just freaking see it.
6. A Perfect World (1993): So the year is 1993 and Clint Eastwood having just killed the Oscars the year previous with my second favorite western ever (Unforgiven) can make any film he wants. He decides to go with this curious, and somewhat heartfelt character study. Costner here plays an escaped prisoner who up and snatches a young boy as a pseudo hostage. As the to grow closer so does the long arm of the law, and Clint Eastwood’s Chief Garnett is that law. He’s a terrifying gem, one who machismo here is only trumped by the acting chops of Costner’s turn as Butch Haynes. It’s a crime drama, and a twisted father-son story, and in the end one worth your time.
5. Silverado (1985): Admittedly I’m a sucker for westerns, and this is a great little gem of a film in Costner’s canon that not enough people know about. Costner plays a gunslinging, kiss-stealing sumbitch named Jake, who despite his youth likes to shoot off, but not with his mouth. With all the talent in this film (the criminally underrated Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, and Brian Dennehy) it’s Costner that steals the show. It’s a full of energy western setpiece with a style unique to itself. Underrated, it is truly a great western in a time when great westerns weren’t being made.
4. Field of Dreams (1989): He built it. They came. Costner is Ray Kinsella an Iowa farmer who has an epiphany that should he build a baseball diamond in his corn field something will happen. Initially he assumes the “they” was the ghost of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson (played by Ray Liotta). But the field serves a higher purpose both literally and figuratively. Costner is simple outstanding here. In a film often considered the best baseball film of all times (we disagree read on and you’ll see.) there’s a certain sentimentality that connects us and Ray. Despite it’s often overly ham-fisted emotionalism.
2. Bull Durham (1988): This is in our opinion the best baseball film of all time. Here we have Costner playing catcher Crash Davis, a perennial minor leaguers whose just joined the terrible Durham Bulls. Remember that smug charm we spoke of? Yeah here it is in spades! And when you have guy like Tim Robbins in there as a part of the tomfoolery it doesn’t get much better. When you can effectively mix in romance which this film does, and Susan Sarandon is excellent here as not just a squeeze for Crash. Director Ron Shelton having played in the minors really helps the realism and his seemingly lose of control helps even more.
Before we get to number one let’s highlight a film in Costner’s canon that just well… just stinks!
Dishonorable Mention. The Postman (1997): Totally wanted to go with Waterworld, but that wasn’t all Costner’s fault. Kevin Reynolds again “directs” a directionless, expensive piece of nothing. However, our dishonorable mention is this 1997 film directed, and starring Costner. This one, this ones all on him. An overcrowded, overlong, slow, and boring spectacle. Costner crafts an interesting first third, the second third seem to lag, and the final act is atrocious filmmaking at it’s very finest. We love Costner, but dammit this is a bad movie.
And now number one…