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The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)

Updated August 27, 2020 1.5k votes 330 voters 19.4k views29 items

List RulesVote up the best movies that focus on a single character and barely feature any other people at all.

This list contains information on the best movies with only one actor, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best one person films come in many forms. Some good single character films are about socially awkward loners while other good films about one person feature characters lost at sea. Many of the best movies about single characters star Oscar-winning actors and actresses.

What films will you find on this top single actor movies list? Castaway has to be near the top. Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a FedEx employee who finds himself marooned on an island, in this 2000 Robert Zemeckis film. Hanks appears alone in much of the movie with his primary co-star being a volleyball named Wilson. Other good films with one character featured on this list include Gravity, 127 Hours, All Is Lost, and The Shallows.

Which one actor film is your favorite? Give the best movies a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

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    Cast Away

    Tom Hanks

    Released2000

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Cast Away is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks as a FedEx employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane accident in the...  more

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  • 2
    91
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    I Am Legend

    Will Smith

    Released2007

    Directed byFrancis Lawrence

    I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954...  more

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  • 3
    59
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    Moon

    Sam Rockwell

    Released2009

    Directed byDuncan Jones

    Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones. The film follows Sam Bell, a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year...  more

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    127 Hours

    James Franco

    Released2010

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    127 Hours is a 2010 British-American biographical survival drama film directed, co-written and produced by Danny Boyle. The film stars James Franco as real-life canyoneer Aron Ralston, who became...  more

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    55
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    Life of Pi

    Suraj Sharma

    Released2012

    Directed byAng Lee

    Life of Pi is a 2012 American historical drama film directed by Ang Lee, based on the novel of the same name by Yann Martel. Pi Patel (Suraj Sharma), a young man who is cast away after a disaster at...  more

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    Gravity

    Sandra Bullock

    Released2013

    Directed byAlfonso Cuarón

    Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts, and sees them stranded in space after...  more

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  • 7
    41
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    Locke

    Tom Hardy

    Released2013

    Directed bySteven Knight

    Locke is a 2013 British drama film written and directed by Steven Knight. The film stars Tom Hardy, with Tom Holland, Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson, Ben Daniels, and Alice Lowe providing...  more
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    The Shallows

    Blake Lively

    Released2016

    Directed byJaume Collet-Serra

    The Shallows is a 2016 American survival thriller film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The film follows a surfer (Blake Lively) as she gets stranded 200 yards from shore, and must use her wits and...  more

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  • 9
    40
    26

    The Machinist

    Christian Bale

    Released2004

    Directed byBrad Anderson

    The Machinist is a 2004 English-language Spanish psychological thriller film directed by Brad Anderson and written by Scott Kosar. The film stars Christian Bale with Jennifer Jason Leigh, John...  more

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    28
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    All Is Lost

    Robert Redford

    Released2013

    Directed byJ. C. Chandor

    All Is Lost is a 2013 survival drama film written and directed by J. C. Chandor. The film stars Robert Redford as a man lost at sea. Redford is the only cast member, and the film has very few spoken...  more
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    Released1964

    Directed bySidney Salkow, Ubaldo Ragona

    The Last Man on Earth is a 1964 science fiction horror film based on the Richard Matheson 1954 novel I Am Legend. The film was directed by Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow, and stars Vincent Price....  more

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    The Noah

    Robert Strauss

    Released1975

    Directed byDaniel Bourla

    The Noah is a post-apocalyptic fiction film written and directed by Daniel Bourla, starring Robert Strauss in his final film performance. Noah is the sole survivor on our planet after a nuclear...  more
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    24
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    Wild

    Reese Witherspoon

    Released2014

    Directed byJean-Marc Vallée

    Wild is a 2014 American biographical drama film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, written by Nick Hornby, and based on Cheryl Strayed's 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail....  more
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    16
    15

    Grand Piano

    Elijah Wood

    Released2013

    Directed byEugenio Mira

    Grand Piano is a 2013 English-language Spanish thriller film starring Elijah Wood and John Cusack. The film is about a once promising pianist returning for a comeback performance, only to be the...  more
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    18
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    The Omega Man

    Charlton Heston

    Released1971

    Directed byBoris Sagal

    The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 novel I...  more

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    Nightingale

    David Oyelowo

    Directed byElliott Lester

    Nightingale is a 2014 American drama film directed by Elliott Lester. Lonely war veteran Peter Snowden (David Oyelowo) psychologically unravels while waiting an old friend to visit....  more
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    Released1987

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia is a 1987 Jonathan Demme-directed performance film. The film is a performance of Spalding Gray's monologue which centered on such themes as his trip to Southeast...  more
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    Silent Running

    Bruce Dern

    Released1972

    Directed byDouglas Trumbull

    Silent Running is a 1972 environmentally-themed American science fiction film starring Bruce Dern, featuring Cliff Potts, Ron Rifkin and Jesse Vint. It was directed by Douglas Trumbull, who had...  more
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    12
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    Wrecked

    Adrien Brody

    Released2011

    Directed byMichael Greenspan

    Wrecked is a Canadian thriller film, directed by Michael Greenspan, written by Christopher Dodd, produced by Kyle Mann and starring Adrien Brody. It was released by IFC Midnight Films on April 1,...  more
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    9
    14

    Secret Honor

    Philip Baker Hall

    Released1984

    Directed byRobert Altman

    Secret Honor is a 1984 film written by Donald Freed and Arnold M. Stone, directed by Robert Altman and starring Philip Baker Hall as former president Richard M. Nixon, a fictional account attempting...  more
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    35
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    Buried

    Ryan Reynolds

    Released2010

    Directed byRodrigo Cortés

    Buried is a 2010 American thriller film directed by Rodrigo Cortés. It stars Ryan Reynolds and was written by Chris Sparling. The story is about Iraq-based American civilian truck driver Paul Conroy,...  more

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  • 22
    9
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    The Telephone

    Whoopi Goldberg

    Released1988

    Directed byRip Torn

    The Telephone is a 1988 comedy-drama film starring Whoopi Goldberg as an out-of-work actress who starts doing some prank phone calls which created a chain of events. Actor Rip Torn makes his...  more
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    9
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    Mine

    Armie Hammer

    Released2016

    Directed byFabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro

    Mine is a 2016 psychological thriller film directed by Fabio Guaglione and Fabio Resinaro. After a failed assassination attempt, a soldier (Armie Hammer) finds himself stranded in the desert,...  more
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    Brake

    Stephen Dorff

    Released2012

    Directed byGabe Torres

    Brake is an 2012 American thriller film directed by Gabe Torres, written by Timothy Mannion, and starring Stephen Dorff....  more
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    9
    16

    Sleep

    Aimi Kobayashi, Mariko Hirano

    Released2011

    Directed bySakaguchi Katsumi

    Sleep is a 2011 drama film directed by Sakaguchi Katsumi....  more