British Actor Alan Rickman didn’t make it big in Hollywood until he was in his 40s. However, he was quite a talent and delivered a number of memorable cinematic performances (most of them supporting) throughout his career. Frankly, he always shined in his role, even when the movie didn’t deliver much else. Here then are the 16 best films with Rickman in the cast.
Die Hard (1988): Playing evil German terrorist Hans Gruber was the first time most people saw Alan Rickman’s chops on display. What an entrance! This remains the best action movie ever made, mostly due to Rickman’s performance. Hans is one of cinema’s great villains, verbally and physically jousting with New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) throughout the film.
Quigley Down Under (1990): For awhile, it looked like Rickman would only get cast as the bad guy, as he seemed capable of effortlessly oozing menace on screen. Here he battles wits with Tom Selleck in the Australian outback.
Bob Roberts (1992): Tim Robbins’ mockumentary about presidential politics hits many of the same notes as A Face in the Crowd (1957) and All the Kings Men (1949) with Rickman playing the head of the corrupt politician’s campaign.
Sense and Sensibility (1995): There have been too many adaptations of Jane Austin’s novel, but this is the best one. Rickman plays the old bachelor, Colonel Brandon. With Emma Thompson writing the adaptation and Ang Lee directing, the audience is in the hands of artists working at the highest level.
Galaxy Quest (1999): Rickman displayed excellent comic chops in this spoof of the Star Trek franchise, playing a character loosely based on Leonard Nimoy who couldn’t be more annoyed at being trapped in a low-brow but successful franchise. This film is funny if you enjoy sci-fi, hysterical if you’re a Trekkie.
Harry Potter series (2001-11): This eight film fantasy series based on J.K. Rowling’s books probably did the most to fill Rickman’s bank account. He’s the villain again in one of Hollywood’s great film franchises, starring as Professor Severus Snape. Most children will see meet Rickman for the first time here, so this role is likely to become his greatest legacy to film.
Something the Lord Made (2004): We highly recommend this television movie about black cardiac pioneer Vivian Thomas (Mos Def) and his mentor Alfred Blalock (Alan Rickman). It’s a true story told well by director Joseph Sargent.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005): Fans of the book waited decades for this comedy adaption which gets a large percentage of it’s laughs from the dour robot character voiced by Rickman. This is definitely a British comedy, for fans of the Monty Python sort.
A Little Chaos (2014): Rickman directed only two films, but he produced a gem with this period romance starring Kate Winslet as the lone female landscape architect hired to contribute to the construction of King Louis XIV’s gardens at Versailles. As one of his last, Rickman’s performance as the aging, contemplative king serves well as a farewell to his many, many fans.