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The Best Willem Dafoe Movies 

Ranker Film
Updated February 21, 2020 3.5k votes 589 voters 48.6k views 88 items

List Rules Vote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best Willem Dafoe movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. Willem Dafoe's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top Willem Dafoe movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated Willem Dafoe movies will be at the top of the list. Willem Dafoe has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest Willem Dafoe movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining Willem Dafoe films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best Willem Dafoe role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest Willem Dafoe performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

Everything from Pacific Rim to The Walker is included on this list.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best Willem Dafoe movies?" and "What are the greatest Willem Dafoe roles of all time?"

Martin Scorsese and Stephen Sommers are among those who have directed Willem Dafoe at one point or another during their careers in the film industry. Willem Dafoe has been in some really popular films, and is right up there with stars like Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi in terms of fame and success.

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1
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Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe

Released: 1986

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Platoon is a 1986 American war film written and directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films by ...more

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Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, Frances McDormand

Released: 1988

Directed by: Alan Parker

Mississippi Burning is a 1988 American thriller film directed by Alan Parker and written by Chris Gerolmo. It was loosely based on the FBI investigation into the incidents involving of three ...more

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#189 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #289 of 363 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
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Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly

Released: 1999

Directed by: Troy Duffy

The Boondock Saints is a 1999 American film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as fraternal twins, Connor and Murphy MacManus, who become ...more

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#459 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #30 of 109 The Best Mafia Films #305 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

4
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Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst

Released: 2002

Directed by: Sam Raimi

Spider-Man is a 2002 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi, based on the Marvel Comics character. When bitten by a genetically modified spider, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), a nerdy, ...more

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5
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Willem Dafoe, John Malkovich, Eddie Izzard

Released: 2000

Directed by: E. Elias Merhige

Shadow of the Vampire is a 2000 horror film directed by E. Elias Merhige and written by Steven Katz, and starring John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe. The film is a fictionalised account of the ...more
6
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Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Frances O'Connor

Released: 2011

Directed by: Daniel Nettheim

The Hunter is a 2011 drama film written by Alice Addison and directed by Daniel Nettheim based on the novel by Julia Leigh.
7
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Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe, James Earl Jones

Released: 1994

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 spy action thriller film directed by Phillip Noyce, based on Tom Clancy's book of the same name. It was preceded by the 1990 film The Hunt for Red October and ...more

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#147 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #11 of 74 The Greatest Movies About CIA Agents & Operatives #21 of 102 The Best Third Films In A Movie Series

8
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Willem Dafoe, John Turturro, Jane Leeves

Released: 1985

Directed by: William Friedkin

This film is a 1985 American action thriller film directed by William Friedkin and based on the novel by former U.S. Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, who co-wrote the screenplay with ...more

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9
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David Bowie, Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel

Released: 1988

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Last Temptation of Christ is a 1988 American-Canadian epic drama film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is a film adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis' controversial 1953 novel of the same ...more

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#397 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #311 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #16 of 37 The Best Martin Scorsese Movies

10
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Tom Hardy, Willem Dafoe, Simon Pegg

Released: 2002

Directed by: Paul McGuigan

The Reckoning is a 2003 British-Spanish murder mystery drama film directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Paul Bettany, Willem Dafoe, Tom Hardy, Gina McKee, Brian Cox and Vincent Cassel. It was ...more

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11
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Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger

Released: 1989

Directed by: Oliver Stone

Born on the Fourth of July is a 1989 American drama film adaptation of the best-selling autobiography of the same name by Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic. Tom Cruise plays Ron Kovic, in a performance ...more

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#150 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #248 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
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Willem Dafoe, Maria Bello, Rita Wilson

Released: 2002

Directed by: Paul Schrader, Larry Karaszewski

Auto Focus is a 2002 American biographical film directed by Paul Schrader, starring Greg Kinnear and Willem Dafoe. The screenplay by Michael Gerbosi is based on Robert Graysmith's book The ...more
13
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Willem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Firth

Released: 1996

Directed by: Anthony Minghella

The English Patient is a 1996 romantic drama directed by Anthony Minghella from his own script based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ondaatje and produced by Saul Zaentz. The film was ...more

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#210 of 378 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #160 of 214 The Greatest World War II Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

14
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Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac

Released: 2018

Directed by: Julian Schnabel

At Eternity's Gate is a 2018 American drama film directed by Julian Schnabel. Vincent van Gogh (Willem Dafoe) spends his final days in Arles.
15
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Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe, Eric Bana

Released: 2003

Directed by: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich

Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, it ...more

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#19 of 568 The Best Animated Films Ever #13 of 355 The Best Rainy Day Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
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Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Isabella Rossellini

Released: 1990

Directed by: David Lynch

Wild at Heart is a 1990 American thriller film written and directed by David Lynch, and based on Barry Gifford's 1989 novel of the same name. Both the book and the film revolve around Sailor ...more

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17
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Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Derek Jacobi

Released: 2008

Directed by: Paul Schrader

Adam Resurrected is a 2008 American-German-Israeli film, directed by Paul Schrader and adapted from Yoram Kaniuk's novel of the same name published in Israel in 1968. Jeff Goldblum stars as the ...more
18
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Willem Dafoe Movies
Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

Released: 2000

Directed by: Mary Harron

American Psycho is a 2000 American neo-noir satirical psychological horror film directed by Mary Harron, based on the 1991 novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Wealthy New York City investment banking ...more

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19
Streets of Fire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Willem Dafoe Movies
Willem Dafoe, Diane Lane, Kathy Griffin

Released: 1984

Directed by: Walter Hill

Streets of Fire is a 1984 film directed by Walter Hill and co-written by Hill and Larry Gross. It was described in previews, trailers, and posters as "A Rock & Roll Fable". It is ...more
20
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Willem Dafoe, Miranda Richardson, Rosemary Harris

Released: 1994

Directed by: Brian Gilbert

21
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Mickey Rourke, Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong

Released: 2000

Directed by: Steve Buscemi

Animal Factory is a 2000 drama film about life in prison, set in San Quentin. The film was directed by Steve Buscemi, and stars Willem Dafoe, Edward Furlong, Danny Trejo, John Heard, Mickey ...more

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#43 of 105 The Best Prison Movies #34 of 60 The Best Mickey Rourke Movies #29 of 93 The Best Steve Buscemi Movies

22
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Willem Dafoe, Haley Joel Osment, Krystyna Feldman

Released: 2001

Directed by: Yurek Bogayevicz

Edges of the Lord is an award-winning 2001 film, written and directed by Yurek Bogayevicz, set in Poland during World War II, starring Willem Dafoe and Haley Joel Osment.
23
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Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe

Released: 2004

Directed by: Wes Anderson

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a 2004 American comedy-drama film directed, co-written, and co-produced by Wes Anderson. It is Anderson's fourth feature length film, released in the U.S. ...more

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#932 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #707 of 1,138 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #736 of 923 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

24
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Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, David Spade

Released: 1992

Directed by: Paul Schrader

Light Sleeper is an American drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader in 1992. It stars Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, and Dana Delany. The film, set in New York City, shows the tragic ...more

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25
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Willem Dafoe, Bryce Dallas Howard, Lauren Bacall

Released: 2005

Directed by: Lars von Trier

Manderlay is a 2005 Danish drama film written and directed by Lars von Trier and the second part of von Trier's projected USA – Land of Opportunities trilogy. It stars Bryce Dallas Howard, who ...more

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