Sean Penn, undoubtedly one of the finest performers of all time, embodies the chameleon persona. This is a man with significant acting talents, as seen by his two Oscars. He has carried us from the depths of human anguish in Dead Man Walking to a revolutionary figure in Milk. He is, however, just as much of a force to be reckoned with off-screen as he is on-screen, having worked as a director, screenwriter, and humanitarian.

Below are some of his best performances of all time.

1. This Must Be The Place (2011)

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Director- Paolo Sorrentino

Cheyenne is a wealthy former rock star (Penn) who has become bored and jaded in his retirement. He sets out on a journey to find his father’s persecutor. An ex-Nazi war criminal now hiding in the United States. He rushes to New York in the hopes of reconciling with his father during his final hours. Only to arrive too late. He only learns the exact depth of his father’s humiliation in Auschwitz at the hands of former SS Officer Aloise Lange now that he is dead. An event he is resolve to avenge.

As a result, he embarks on a life-changing trek across America’s heartland in search of and confrontation with his father’s foe. Cheyenne is reawaken by the individuals he meets as his quest progresses. His journey becomes one of reconciliation and self-discovery. Cheyenne must ultimately decide whether he wants redemption or revenge as his date with destiny approaches and he chases down Lange.

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2. We’re No Angels (1989)

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Director- Neil Jordan

Ned and Jim are inmates who are given a second chance at life. When they and a killer suddenly escape from jail. The two fugitives travel north toward the Canadian border. But they are mistaken for priests and decide to go along with the charade before crossing. Even as Ned falls for a lovely local girl, Molly, the two men awkwardly try not to blow their cover by taking up residence at a nearby monastery.

3. Carlito’s Way (1993)

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Director- Brian De Palma

Carlito Brigante has been release from prison following a five-year sentence. He swears that he will go straight and live a good, law-abiding life. He even rekindles his ex-romance. lover’s Carlito’s colleagues, on the other hand, are unable to leave him alone. His nephew gets him into a pool-room shootout, his lawyer asks him for “favours” that spiral out of control. Even an old acquaintance tries to get him into legal problems. Carlito chooses to flee to Florida in search of a fresh life. But he must first make a dramatic escape from several hoods who suspect him of murdering their boss.

4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

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Director- Amy Heckerling

A group of adolescents at Ridgemont High School in California are looking for something as part of their life’s discoveries. The perpetually stoned pothead Jeff Spicoli dreams of becoming a great surfer in Hawaii. Mr. Hand, his history instructor, is giving him a hard time. Stacy Hamilton, a fifteen-year-old virgin, wants to have sex, and her friend Linda Barrett is her mentor. Brad Hamilton, her brother, works at a fast-food restaurant and pays for his Cadillac. He wants to break up with Lisa now that he is older and can date other women. Mark ‘Rat’ Ratner is smitten with Stacy, and his mentor is his friend Mike Damone. They are surprise and learn about friendship and love during the semester.

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5. Milk (2008)

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Director- Gus Van Sant

Harvey Milk, a forty-year-old gay activist in San Francisco’s Castro neighbourhood, acquires focus in his life as a gay activist after arriving to the city from New York City in 1972. As Milk realises that he can be a more effective spokesperson for the gay community as a politician, whether elected or not, gay rights movement transforms into political activity. Milk wins a San Francisco supervisor position in 1977, after many contests and losses for both a municipal seat and a state assembly seat. He becomes the first openly gay male in the United States to get elect to political office. A national anti-gay Save the Children crusade, led and headlined by singer Anita Bryant, is one of his many political battlegrounds. Closer to home, Milk is still at odds with his fellow supervisor, Dan White, a social conservative.

6. The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)

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Director- Niels Mueller

A true story of a disturbed office furniture salesman who plotted to assassinate then-President Richard Nixon in 1972 by hijacking a plane and flying it over the White House to drop a gas bomb. The man is separated from his wife at the start of the film, and he is pressured at work, where he is the brunt of jokes and is an underperformer. Attempts to revive his brother’s old tyre business with a black partner are turned down by banks. When Richard Nixon is presented with divorce papers, everything falls apart, and his broken vows become a symbol for all the tragedies that have befallen him. He gets the inspiration for his attack from a news article about a pilot who lands a helicopter on the White House grounds. He attempts the hi-jacking by bolting onto a Baltimore airliner.

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7. I Am Sam (2001)

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Director- Jessie Nelson

The story of Sam Dawson (Sean Penn), a mentally challenged father who raises his daughter Lucy (Dakota Fanning) with the support of a special circle of friends. When Lucy turns seven and begins to academically surpass her father, their deep link is jeopardised when a social worker notices their unusual living arrangement and requests that Lucy be placed in foster care.

8. Mystic River (2003)

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Director- Clint Eastwood

Three childhood friends, the reformed criminal Jimmy, the forever scarred blue-collar worker Dave, and the methodical Massachusetts State Police Detective Sean, are still trying to find their feet nearly three decades later in the aftermath of a deeply traumatic incident in a close-knit mid-1970s Boston neighbourhood. Then, as if dealing with Jimmy’s dark past wasn’t enough, Katie, Jimmy’s innocent nineteen-year-old daughter, is brutally murdered, and Dave’s name appears first on the suspect list. Jimmy resumes up where he left off, determined to find the mysterious sadistic killer, despite his best efforts to distance himself from his former self.

9. Dead Man Walking (1995)

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Director- Tim Robbins

On Death Row, a convicted killer and the nun who befriends him. Powerful emotions are released through the presentation of finely drawn characters and their interactions as the days, hours, and minutes count down to the condemned man’s execution. While Matthew Poncelet and Sister Prejean feverishly try to persuade the governor or the courts to postpone the execution, scenes from the horrible crime are intercut, progressively revealing the truth about what happened. In addition to providing practical assistance, the nun seeks to reach out spiritually and serve as a salvation guide.