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

Ranker Film
Updated June 14, 2019 1.2k votes 294 voters 14k views 29 items

List Rules Vote 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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list ordered by
1
Cast Away is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Tom Hanks

Released: 2000

Directed by: Robert 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 ...more
2
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Will Smith

Released: 2007

Directed by: Francis 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 ...more
3
Moon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Sam Rockwell

Released: 2009

Directed by: Duncan 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
4
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Suraj Sharma

Released: 2012

Directed by: Ang 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 ...more
5
Gravity is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Sandra Bullock

Released: 2013

Directed by: Alfonso 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 ...more
6
127 Hours is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
James Franco

Released: 2010

Directed by: Danny 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 ...more
7
The Machinist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Christian Bale

Released: 2004

Directed by: Brad 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
8
Locke is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Tom Hardy

Released: 2013

Directed by: Steven 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 ...more
9
Buried is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Ryan Reynolds

Released: 2010

Directed by: Rodrigo 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 ...more
10
The Shallows is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Blake Lively

Released: 2016

Directed by: Jaume 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 ...more
11
All Is Lost is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Robert Redford

Released: 2013

Directed by: J. 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 ...more
12
Wild is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Reese Witherspoon

Released: 2014

Directed by: Jean-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 ...more
13
The Noah is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Robert Strauss

Released: 1975

Directed by: Daniel 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
14
The Last Man on Earth is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Vincent Price

Released: 1964

Directed by: Sidney 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 ...more
15
The Omega Man is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Charlton Heston

Released: 1971

Directed by: Boris 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 ...more
16
Nightingale is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
David Oyelowo

Directed by: Elliott 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.
17
Silent Running is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Bruce Dern

Released: 1972

Directed by: Douglas 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
18
Grand Piano is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Elijah Wood

Released: 2013

Directed by: Eugenio 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
19
Swimming to Cambodia is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Spalding Gray

Released: 1987

Directed by: Jonathan 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 ...more
20
Secret Honor is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Philip Baker Hall

Released: 1984

Directed by: Robert 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 ...more
21
The Telephone is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Whoopi Goldberg

Released: 1988

Directed by: Rip 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
22
Wrecked is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Adrien Brody

Released: 2011

Directed by: Michael 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 ...more
23
Sleep is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Aimi Kobayashi, Mariko Hirano, Miyuki Komagata

Released: 2011

Directed by: Sakaguchi Katsumi

Sleep is a 2011 drama film directed by Sakaguchi Katsumi.
24
Brake is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies That Have Only One Actor (Most of the Time)
Stephen Dorff

Released: 2012

Directed by: Gabe Torres

Brake is an 2012 American thriller film directed by Gabe Torres, written by Timothy Mannion, and starring Stephen Dorff.
25
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Armie Hammer

Directed by: Fabio 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