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Johnny Depp’s Most Over-the-Top Performances, Ranked From Best to Worst

Johnny Depp is an actor of skill and versatility, but when you break it down, most of his performances fall into one of two categories: Naturalistic Johnny and Over-The-Top Depp. In the former category, you have such quiet, finely tuned, nuanced turns as Donnie Brasco, Finding Neverland, Public Enemies, Blow, and Dead Man. And in the latter, you have the barnburners, the swing-for-the-fences stuff — wild performances that occasionally pay off, but often result in overworked indulgence. We’ll all find out Wednesday which camp The Lone Ranger falls into, but in the meantime, his most out-there work is ranked for you, from best to worst, after the jump.

Ed Wood

Depp’s second collaboration with Tim Burton (and that filmmaker’s last good movie, incidentally) was this uproarious 1994 biopic of the notoriously incompetent director of such laughable fare as Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen or Glenda? He plays the filmmaker as a wide-eyed, overly enthusiastic innocent, and it’s the right call — his gee-whiz line readings and joyful calls of “Cut! That was perfect!” are an exquisite counterpoint to the dreck he’s creating.

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