Philip Seymour Hoffman was always one of my favorites. It always seemed to me that he didn't make bad movies, and I've always attributed that to a belief that Hoffman's talent elevated everyone around him.

Like a lot of appreciators of film, upon hearing Sunday's awful news, I took a stroll through Hoffman's IMDB page and relived some of his truly great performances in some of the best movies of the past 20 years. Both in range of role and film, he was an almost unparalleled talent.

But what are my favorite Hoffman roles? Here are my top 10.

 

10. The Master

Hoffman earned his most recent of four career Oscar nominations playing the leader of a religious movement/cult known as "The Cause". His scenes with Joaquin Phoenix are phenomenal.

 

9. Doubt

One of the best casts in recent film history (Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Viola Davis), Hoffman plays a priest questioned about his relationship with a young boy. Another Oscar-nominated performance, the final scene with Streep and Hoffman is a work of art with two all-time acting heavyweights going toe-to-toe.

 

8. Moneyball

It's a smaller role as he cedes most of the screen time to Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, but I appreciate Hoffman's turn as Oakland A's manager Art Howe and how he radiates disdain and disbelief for his front-office adversaries. A case study in subtlety.

 

7. The Big Lebowski

Anyone in anyway associated with the Coen Brothers cult classic is going to end up on almost any movie list I make. Hoffman plays Brandt, the manservant to the millionaire title character, in one of the most quoted movies of all-time. This is my favorite line from Hoffman's character: "He believes the culprits might be the very people who, uh, soiled your rug, and you are in a unique position to confirm or disconfirm that suspicion."


6. Magnolia

One of the more unusual films in Hoffman's filmography, he brought great compassion and sweetness to the role of Phil Pharma, caretaker to a dying man. He ensures the dying man's son (played by Tom Cruise is a very non-Tom Cruise role) gets to his bedside before the man's death.

 

5. Boogie Nights