20 Respected Actors Who Appeared In Video Game Movies

by Matt Helgeson on Apr 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Today brought the sad news that venerated English actor Bob Hoskins, who had appeared in the Super Mario Bros. movie as wells as more acclaimed films like The Long Good Friday, has died. In this feature, we look back at some of the other critically respected actors who have appeared in video game movies.

20. Robert Patrick - Double Dragon (1994), Red Factions Origins (2011)
Robert Patrick isn't a household name but he's one of his generation's great character actors, best known for his role as the remorseless T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. He's also put in strong performances in smaller roles in Die Hard 2, Cop Land, and the television series The Sopranos and The X-Files. While his video game work probably won't be on his list of career achievements, he did play major roles in the little-remembered game adaptations Double Dragon and Red Faction: Origins on the SyFy Channel.

19. Jon Voight - Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (2001)
Voight is best known in recent years for being the father of Angelina Jolie and his often-erratic behavior, but starting with his breakout role in 1969's Midnight Cowboy, he earned many accolades for his roles throughout the '70s and '80s, earning one Academy Award and four Golden Globes, and many more nominations. During a time when he must have had better relations with Jolie, he appeared alongside his daughter in the successful Tomb Raider - Lara Croft.

18. David Suchet - Wing Commander (1999)
While not a household name, David Suchet is a respected British actor of film, stage, and television. He's well-known across the pond for his role as Hercule Poroit in the UK TV series Agatha Christie's Poroit. He also earned awards for his part in the miniseries The Way We Live Now. However, these accolades didn't stop him from making the mistake of appearing in Wing Commander, the sub-par adaptation of Chris Robert's space combat game. Maybe he couldn't resist the good chance to work with Freddy Prinze, Jr.?

17. J.K. Simmons - Postal
You might not know J.K. Simmons by name, but there's no doubt you've seen him in one of his dozens of strong character roles in film and on television. Simmons is generally cast as an avuncular, fatherly type, but also excelled in angrier roles like J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man films. Since a standout role in Juno, he's had a higher profile, and currently has his own sit-com Growing Up Fischer. No matter how many films he does, we'll always know which one was worst: his appearance Uwe Boll's horrifically bad Postal.

16. Djimon Hounsou - Lara Croft Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life (2003)
Djimon Hounsou's breakout role was as an African slave in Amistad, and has earned acclaim for appearances in movies like Blood Diamond. He also made a stop into the world of game movies with a role in the Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life, the second in the short-lived film franchise.

15. Jake Gyllenhaal - The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2012)
Based on his performances in movies like Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain, The Good Girl, and End of Watch, Gyllenhaal is generally regarded as one of Hollywood's best young actors. However, the attempt to make him into a blockbuster action star in the adaptation of Ubisoft's Prince of Persia franchise didn't quite work out as planned.

14. Raul Julia - Street Fighter (1995)
This is perhaps the most famous, and saddest, example of this phenomenon. Latin American actor Raul Julia was a strong presence in films like The Kiss of the Spider Woman and other during the '80s and early '90s, when he decided to appear in an ill-fated Street Fighter movie. Tragically, Julia would die soon after of a stroke, making this bad game film a great actor's last major film role. It's a pity.

13. Angelina Jolie - Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (2001), Lara Croft Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life (2003)
Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie has managed to maintain a career that balances serious dramas like Girl, Interrupted and Changeling with popcorn action movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Salt. In 2001, she won the role of Eidos' adventurer Lara Croft, which lasted for two successful films. Aside from the long-running Resident Evil series, these were probably some of the most successful game-to-movie adaptations.

12. Ciarán Hinds - Lara Croft Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life (2003)
Irish actor Ciarán Hinds is respected in all phases of acting. A former member of the Royal Shakespeare Company on the stage, he's also turned in great performances in movies like Road to Perdition and Munich and the acclaimed HBO television series Rome and Game of Thrones. In 2003, the actor appeared alongside Angelina Jolie in the second Tomb Raider film.

11. Timothy Olyphant - Hitman (2007)
While he has a chequered history in film, Timothy Olyphant has portrayed two of the greatest lawmen in television history: Deadwood's Seth Bullock and Justified's Raylan Givens. Olyphant attempted to take his intense persona in a new direction with Hitman, but it didn't take. The film was a flop, and a new reboot was recently being planned without Olyphant.

10. Malcolm McDowell - Silent Hill: Revelation (2012)
Most remembered for his chilling starring role in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell has had an odd career, as his verged from classy fare to the lowest of b-movies. Silent Hill: Revelations fell somewhere in the middle. McDowell has also lent his one-of-a-kind voice to video games like God of War III and the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online.

9. Ray Liotta - In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)
Uwe Boll must be a pretty charming guy, because he's suckered some well-known actors into appearing in his films. One was Ray Liotta, who will forever be identified as Henry Hill from Martin Scorsese's classic Goodfellas. Liotta has turned in a lot of good work over the years, so it's puzzling why he would take a part in Boll's In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.

8. Beau Bridges - Max Payne (2008), The Wizard (1989)
While not as badass as his brother Jeff, the portlier of the Bridges brothers has been a reliable presence in American cinema for decades. In the dozens of roles he's played, including a memorable turn in The Fabulous Baker Boys, he's made time for two game-related movies, Max Payne and The Wizard, a 1989 Fred Savage vehicle that featured the first American footage of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. 3.

7. Daniel Craig - Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (2001)
While the pugilistic British actor will now forever be known as James Bond, Daniel Craig actually started out in smaller, more critically acclaimed dramas like The Mother and Layer Cake. Before the 007 franchise and worldwide fame came calling, Craig honed his big-budget action skills in 2001's Tomb Raider.

6. Ron Perlman - In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)
Perlman first won notice (and a Golden Globe) for his role as Vincent on the '80s TV series Beauty and the Beast. He's worked consistently in both film and television over the years, and has had recent success with hard-boiled performances in the film Drive and the FX series Sons of Anarchy. All this said, he's another that fell into the Boll trap by appearing in In the Name of the King.

5. Alfred Molina - The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2012)
Molina's very first film role was in a stone-cold classic: Raiders of the Lost Ark. In the years since, he's appeared in everything from Spider-Man 2 to his firecracker-popping, coke-snorting, Night Ranger-listening role in the classic Boogie Nights. Alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, he also appeared in the inoffensive, but ultimately mediocre The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

4. Michael Keaton - Need for Speed (2014)
Michael Keaton in the '80s and '90s was one of Hollywood's biggest stars, based on successful comedies like Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice. He delved into drama as well to some success, but has slowed down in recent years, doing voiceover in the Toy Story series and taking smaller, but significant roles in movies like The Other Guys and Out of Sight. Earlier this year, Keaton made the somewhat inexplicable decision to take an over-the-top part in EA's Need for Speed movie.

3. Sean Bean - Silent Hill (2006), Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (2012)
Based on his roles in The Lord of the Rings films and HBO's Game of Thrones series alone, Sean Bean is fantasy royalty. He also delved into the world of game movies with the Silent Hill series, two horror films based on Konami's long-running survival horror franchise. The movies weren't great, but far superior to many on this list. Bean also flexed his fantasy chops with a voice acting role in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

2. Mark Wahlberg - Max Payne (2008)
For a guy who began as a sub-Vanilla Ice white rapper, Mark Wahlberg has had an amazing acting career by any measure. Wahlberg has become one of Hollywood's most bankable action heroes, and also won awards and nominations for series roles in films like The Fighter, Boogie Nights, and The Departed. Wahlberg seemed like a perfect choice to play Rockstar's noire hero Max Payne, but despite his efforts the film failed to strike a note with critics or moviegoers.

1. Ben Kingsley - BloodRayne (2005), The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Ben Kingsley is likely the only man on Earth who has both been knighted by the Queen of England and appeared in an Uwe Boll film. Kingsley is best known for his portrayal of Gandhi, which won him an Oscar. He was also nominated twice for appearances in The House of Sand and Fog and a fearsome turn in Sexy Beast. However, he's also known to do pulpy fare, and it doesn't get much pulpier than Boll's adaptation of the sexy vampire game BloodRayne. He also turned in a serviceable performance in the very serviceable The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.