26 Actors Dominating This Year in Movies – Part 2

10. Channing Tatum

(Spoilers for G.I. Joe: Retaliation)


1354717507_channing-tatum-articleIn any profession, people have to prove themselves worthy and many of the actors on this list started off in certain type casts and have gone beyond them. Channing Tatum is a perfect example. Tatum started off modestly in movies such as Coach Carter, Step Up, Step Up 2: The Streets, Stop-Loss, G.I. Joe: Rise of The Cobra, and Dear John. Tatum became a heartthrob for girls everywhere. After that Tatum didn’t really disappear but he was in many roles that were minor or very similar to previous roles, so nothing really caught the eye. But then came 21 Jump Street. What appeared to be a tired TV adaptation turned out to be an original and hilarious ride that was both a huge critical and financial success. Jonah Hill did a good job in the movie but what really stood out were Tatum’s comic talents. He had had to deliver one-liners before, but Tatum was surprisingly hilarious and his performance was praised. Next came Steven Soderbergh’s stripper movie (partially based on Tatum’s life), Magic Mike. I never intend to see the movie because of its plot, but both Mathew McConaughey and Tatum garnered massive praise for their respective roles.


Now up to 2013, Tatum started the year by reuniting with Soderbergh for a third time with a small but major role in Side Effects. Side Effects also starred Rooney Mara, Jude Law, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. The movie got mostly positive reviews and made a lukewarm box-office debut. Next Tatum went onto G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the sequel to G.I. Joe: Rise of The Cobra, which was hated by fans of the Joes and critics alike. Although Retaliation is a reboot, it is technically also a sequel seeing as many character reprised their roles, such as Tatum, and the Retaliation’s plot is continued from the first movie. Retaliation had a very troubled production with its release date being moved from June 29th, 2012 to March 29th, 2013 so it could be converted into 3D. A lot of advertising had gone into the film in 2012 including a Super Bowl spot. It was slightly disastrous. With his newfound time, the film’s director, Jon M. Chu, filmed more scenes with the newly in demand Tatum. Although he got more screen time enough of the movie had been filmed that it was already too late to save Tatum’s character, Duke, who dies within the first 20 or so minutes of the movie. The film opened to mostly bad reviews but did well at the box office. But I honestly have to say that G.I. Joe: Retaliation was a lot of fun to watch and is a guilty pleasure of mine. Next , Tatum will play a fictionalized version of himself in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s post-apocalyptic R-rated comedy, This Is The End.  Then in his main starring role of the year, Tatum will play a US Capitol police officer who gets into John Mc-Clane-esque (sound familiar to any other movies this year?) mode when he is forced to protect the president (Jamie Foxx) and save his daughter when a paramilitary group (lead by Zero Dark Thirty’s, Jason Clark) attacks the White House in White House Down. White House Down’s trailer promises it will be one of the summer’s most mindlessly fun movies. White House Down marks the return of Independence Day and 2012 director, Roland Emmerich’s return to action. This is following Emmerich’s completely out of type cast direction of one of the most controversial movies of last year, Anonymous, the hypothetical thriller about weather Shakespeare was a fraud or not. White House Down comes out on June 28th. In another small role, Tatum has been cast in the role of Movie Star in Joseph Gordon Levitt’s directorial debut, Don Jon. The only description of Tatum’s character is that he will play an movie star and my best guess is that as shown from the synopsis and trailer for the movie, Scarlet Johansson’s character is obsessed with romantic comedies as Levitt’s character is addicted to porn, so Tatum along with Anne Hathaway and Cuba Gooding Jr. (who also are credited as Movie Star) will probably play characters within one of the romantic comedies. Don Jon has received fantastic early reviews after it was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Don Jon comes out October 18th. Next, Tatum stars in the drama, Foxcatcher with Steve Carell (also on this list) and Mark Ruffalo. Tatum said that his role in Foxcatcher was “the hardest acting challenge I’ve had to date”.  I will explain the film’s plot and my reflections on it in the Steve Carell section of this article. Foxcatcher has no release date but slated to come out in late 2013.

It is a busy year for Tatum and I have a feeling that Tatum won’t be going anywhere and has many more busy years to come.

Channing Tatum and an almost unrecognizable, Steve Carell filming Foxcatcher

Channing Tatum and an almost unrecognizable, Steve Carell filming Foxcatcher


2 released movies (Side Effects and G.I. Joe: Retaliation) + 2 upcoming movies with released dates (This is The End, White House Down, and Don Jon) + 1 upcoming movie with no release date = 6 movies in total for 2013


11.Dwayne Johnson

20130531-104300.jpgNot to long ago, Dwayne Johnson was just a WWE wrestler known by his stage name, “The Rock.” Then
Johnson progressed into some action movies with The Scorpion King and The Rundown. Some years went by and he became the go-to guy for kids movies in which he plays the macho guy who is forced into doing some not so macho things (The Game Plan and The Tooth Fairy). Then Johnson moved onto some what more adult roles in movies such as Get Smart and Fast Five. Although Johnson is still just an action actor, he has begun to show he has some real talent in films such as Snitch. The past few years have been busy for Johnson but never has his acting been in demand as much as in 2013, in which he stars in 5 movies! I guess you could say he is “Rock”ing the film industry. Although he is no award winner, Johnson undeniably has charm that is probably one of the reasons he is so popular nowadays. Johnson started off the year in Snitch, which came out in theaters in January and on DVD yesterday.Snitch is about a construction worker (Johnson) who goes undercover in the drug trade to free his son who was wrongfully accused of drug traffic. It also stars Susan Saradon and The Walking Dead‘s, Jon Berthnal. Snitch did reasonably well at the box office and got mixed reviews but many critics singled Johnson’s performance as very strong. Next Johnson starred as the leader of the Joes in the reboot/sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation. The film starred two other people  besides Johnson and those people were Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum. Tatum.

A month later, Johnson starred with Mark Wahlberg (an honorable mention on this list) in the Michael Bay bodybuilding movie action/crime/drama/comedy, Pain and Gain. The film featured an amazing cast also including Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Ron Corddry, and funny woman, Rebel Wilson. The film didn’t do very well at the box office and got mixed reviews with many saying that although it was an intresting premise, it was bogged down by too much violence. But the main critism is of the comic spin on the not-so funny real life (in which people were injured and murdered and the criminals portrayed by Wahlberg and Johnson and their cohorts were sentenced to death and now recide on death row) which many found distasteful. But after that semi-failure, Johnson was back on his feet in no time with his reprisal of FBI agent, Luke Hobbs, in the newly released Fast and Furious 6. Ever since Fast Five came out in 2011 which was a huge box office sucess and was very surprisingly a critical success aswell. The Furious saga has had a new life breathed into the inflated seires (with six movies already made) since then. Although it dosen’t have an amazing script or a very orignal plot, the jaw-dropping stunts, obvious effort the actors contrbute, the witty banter and one liners, and plain fun of Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6 were very enjoyable to myself and much of the film-goeing audeince and has brought the films past an average action movie. Although Fast Five was slightly superior, Fast and Furious 6 amazingly managed to almost match the pure spectacle of Fast Five, which in the sense of action had everything. 6 opened to good reviews and a great opening (destroying The Hangover Part III at the box office) much like its predeccor. Johnsons last starring role of the year is with Emma Roberts and Liam Hemsworth in the heist movie, Empire State. Empire State has no release date currently. I give Johnson credit for his effort to start to become a legitiment actor and make himself not known only as a wrestler.

4 released movies (Snitch, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Pain and Gain, and Fast and Furious 6) + 1 upcoming movie with no released date (Empire State) = 5 movies in total for 2013



12. Mila Kunis 


Mila_Kunis_150My opinion of Mila Kunis is that she is an immensely talent, extremely likable, and beautiful actor. Kunis was first recognized for her role on That’s 70’s Show. Since then with the exception of a few dramas, Kunis has starred in many successful comedies such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Friends With Benefits, and Ted. Kunis has also voiced Meg Griffin since Season 2 of Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy. Kunis started this year off by playing the Good Witch, Theodora in Oz: The Great and Powerful along with James Franco (also on this list).  Kunis and Franco will both star in three movies together this year alone. Kunis’s second starring role with Franco is in Tar, which was shown at the Rome Film Festival in November of 2012 and at the South by Southwest Film Festival this March.

Although she is quite hilarious and does well in every comedy thrown to her, Kunis deserves to go beyond just comedies. At least two of her movies this year are dramas, so that direction in her career is being realized. Kunis’s first foray into drama with Black Swan earned her a Golden Globe nomination and that makes me wonder what a second foray would do?

That foray is Guillaume Canet’s crime drama, Blood Ties. This mob drama stars Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Zoë Saldana (also on this list), Marion Cotillard, Noah Emmerich, and James Caan. Kunis was cast as a character named Natalie. In the trailer for the film, Kunis looks pretty disheveled at one point and looking quite ravishing in another scene. Kunis actually had to gain weight for this movie.   I am interested to see what course her character goes in. The plot great cast, it’s Cannes debut, and enticing trailer for this movie have got me excited for it’s release but I am suspicious to how good the movie will be judging by it’s Canne’s reception which was mediocre with many calling the movie “overstuffed” and dull. But I am still curious to see this film; Blood Ties is scheduled to come out in select areas tomorrow,  June 13th.


Mila Kunis on the set of Blood Ties

Mila Kunis on the set of Blood Ties

Kunis stars in three other movies without a release date this year, as well. The first of three is The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. The Angriest Man in Brooklyn is another one of 2013 films with a great cast. The lead of the film is played by Robin Williams (also on this list) as Henry Altmann as an obnoxious man who is told that he has brain aneurism and only 90 minutes to live. But the catch is that the doctor who told him that said it by accident and it is not true. The physician tries to hunt down Henry as he races around NYC trying to right all of the wrongs he has made in his life with his “final” hour and a half. In addition to Williams and Kunis, the film also stars Tyrion Lannister himself, Golden Globe winner, Peter Dinklage. It also stars Academy Award winners, Melissa Leo and James Earl Jones. As previously stated, the film has no release date but is slated for a 2013 release. Next Kunis will lend her voice for the stop-motion animated comedy, Hell & Back. The animated film is about two friends who journey down to hell after their friend is accidentally brought there. The film also stars Susan Sarandon, Danny McBride, Michael Peña, and Bob Odenkirk. It has no release date and is slated for 2013. Kunis’s last movie of the year is another movie with a great cast, Third Person. Kunis has made a dent in the year’s film schedule and I hope very much to see her do that in future years to come.


1 movie that has already been released (Oz: The Great and Powerful) + 1 movie released at a film festival (Tar) + 1 upcoming movie with a release date (Blood Ties) + 3 upcoming movies without a release date (The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, Hell & Back, and Third Person)  = 4 movies in total for 2013 


13. Steve Carell


Steve_Carell_2013Steve Carell. Another man that I consider being one of funniest alive. Almost everything Carell is in from his humble beginning in Anchorman as mentally handicapped weatherman, Brick Tamland, and as Andy in The 40 Year Old Virgin to his starring role as the egotistical Michael Scott in the first 7 seasons of The Office (to the joy of all fans, Carell returned for the shows finale) to his role as Maxwell Smart in the riotous adaptation of the 60’s show, Get Smart to his performance next to Tina Fey in Date Night, has made me laugh. Carell has major comedic talent. Carell stars in four movies this year and is rocking a new hairstyle. Carell started off the year in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Carell plays the namesake of the film, Burt Wonderstone. Carell’s performance as Wonderstone plays an obnoxious, over-the-top diva and the audience is almost meant to hate him in the beginning. But as the movie progresses you begin to soften towards the character of Burt. To be honest I liked Steve Buscemi a lot in the movie, but he is probably in the movie for maybe 20 to 30 minutes and Carrey’s character is more of a side character, so Carell carries most of the movie and although it may not be Carell’s best performance, he carries the movie pretty well because of his skills in comedy.

Next Carell will go on reprise his voice role as mastermind villain, Gru, in Despicable Me 2. In the sequel, we see that Gru has stopped being a villain, so as to take care of his three daughters. But his now boring life takes a turn when he is recruited to stop by the anti-villain league to stop a new super-villain because of his knowledge of how a villain thinks, himself previously being one. A few weeks ago, Carell went on Ellen in character as a live action version of Gru. To check out the amusing video click here. Despicable Me 2 comes out July 3rd in conventional, IMAX 3D, and 3D format. After that, Carell will go on to appear in Jim Rash’s and Nat Faxton’s, The Way, Way Back. Jim Rash is a really impressive guy. First off, Rash is one of the many highlights of the show, Community, playing the hilarious, crude, and cross-dressing dean of Greendale Community College. In addition to his talents as a comedic actor, Rash won an Oscar two years ago shared with Faxton and Alexander Payne for the screenplay of The Descendants starring George Clooney. Rash and Faxton write, act, and make their directorial debut in The Way, Way Back. The film tells the story of teenager Duncan’s summer vacation with his mother and her jerk boyfriend, Trent, and his daughter. After finding trouble fitting in, Duncan becomes friends with the manger of the local water park, Owen. Through his friendship with Owen, Duncan becomes less and less insecure and has a great summer. Although the plot it is a bit hokey, the film opened at Sundance to positive reception, has a well-done trailer, and features a great cast. Steve Carell is great at either playing an asshole or a man of kind intent, in this movie Carell plays Trent, the asshole. Toni Collette plays Duncan’s mom, AnnaSophia Robb plays a new companion of Duncan’s. Sam Rockwell plays Owen, and Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, and Amanda Peet also have supporting roles. Newcomer actor, Liam James, plays Duncan. The Way, Way Back comes out July 5th. Carell than returns to more than welcome territory to reprise one of his funniest roles as the weatherman with an “I.Q. of 48” who is “what some people call mentally retarded”, Brick Tamland, in Anchorman in Anchorman: The Legend Continues. Carell will again join forces with the Channel 4 News Team comprised of Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner, Christina Applegate and many other stars on December 20th when the film comes out. ”

Steve Carell and Toni Collette in The Way, Way Back

Steve Carell and Toni Collette in The Way, Way Back

Although Carell has done a few slightly more dramatic roles such as in Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Seeking A Friend for the End of The World, but this year Carell really makes a venture into the dramatic with Foxcatcher. As previously mentioned, the film stars Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo. Foxcatcher tells the true story of John DuPont, a schizophrenic man (played by an unrecognizable, Carell), who shot and killed his long-time friend, Dave Shultz (Mark Ruffalo), who was an Olympic gold metal winning wrestler. Tatum plays Ruffalo’s younger brother, (who is also a Olympic wrestling champion) Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum). Sienna Miller appears in the film as Mark Shultz’s wife. As stated, Carell has played a few dramatic roles such as the sad-sack divorcee in Crazy, Stupid, Love. and lonely Dodge in Seeking A Friend for the End of The World, but those movies were more dramadies and had Carell doing comedy too. Foxcatcher is the first truly serious movie that Carell has ever done and is by no-means a comedy. Foxcatcher is one of my most anticipated movies of the year due to its interesting plot, it’s great cast, and Carell’s absolutely dramatic role. As previously stated, the film has no release date but is slated for a late 2013 release date.

Steve Carell is someone who is always entertaining to watch and soon maybe someone who brings more to the table than just comedy. “That’s What She Said”. I think it is awesome that Steve Carell is in four movies this year and I hope in years to come he is in even more!


1 released movie (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) + 3 upcoming movies with release dates (Despicable Me 2, The Way, Way Back, and Anchorman: The Legend Continues) + 1 upcoming movie without a release date (Foxcatcher) = 5 movies in total for 2013 


The third and final part of this article will come out around next week. . . 

David has been with the Young Folks since the summer of 2012 as a writer. His favorite film is Paul Thomas Anderson's Punch Drunk Love and his favorite television show is Louie. You can contact him at david@theyoungfolks.com