John Cusack Actor Spotlight

4/01/2010 Posted by Admin


John Cusack Actor Spotlight

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton

Think of an actor/actress that you would consider underrated. Did John Cusack come to mind? No? If you take a closer look at his repertoire, you’ll find some solid performances in some extremely good movies. His detractors will note his sometimes stone-faced acting or his lack of emotional range, when, in my mind, his only huge acting stumble was recently starring in the awful “2012.”

Let’s start from the beginning. Cusack was one of the faces of '80s teen movies. He had bits in “Sixteen Candles,” “Better Off Dead,” “One Crazy Summer” and the highly-touted, “Say Anything…” in 1989. The latter is a classic romance film that’s given guys around the world reason to hold onto that old boom box. “Say Anything…” catapulted Cusack to a stellar career that features blockbuster hits, mind-bending thrillers, and low-budget fun.

If there is one negative thing to say about Cusack’s career, it’s that it hasn’t been very consistent at times. While his performances have been generally solid, he had a lapse in the early to mid-'90s, when he didn’t have a major impact on the big screen. He starred in the very funny “Money for Nothing,” which no one saw, but everyone should. His next big film wasn’t until 1997, when the black comedy, “Grosse Point Blank,” hit theaters.

Ever since his neurotic, offbeat performance in “Grosse Point Blank,” Cusack has delivered some woefully underappreciated performances. From 1997-2000, Cusack starred in the following quality films: “Con Air,” “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” “The Thin Red Line,” “Cradle Will Rock,” “Being John Malkovich,” and “High Fidelity.” That’s not a bad list of films to have to your name in a four-year span.

Many of his female fans love 2001’s “Serendipity.” Much of that love is directed towards Cusack’s genuinely sweet, heart-warming performance. His most underrated performance may have come in 2003 with “Identity.” The film is chilling, mind-bending and, at times, genuinely creepy. Cusack and a respectable supporting cast deliver on all accounts.

2007 gave us two more notable Cusack performances with “1408” and “Grace Is Gone.” The films couldn’t be more different, and the roles demanded a lot from Cusack. He absolutely nailed them. So, why John Cusack? Why now? The answer: “Hot Tub Time Machine.”

“Hot Tub Time Machine” was released last Friday. It’s a foul-mouthed, funny-as-hell adult comedy. Cusack hasn’t been this entertaining or out there in years. The film has its flaws, but Cusack’s performance is not one of them. Check out “Hot Tub Time Machine” in theaters now. If you had to pick three John Cusack movies to rent, check out: “Say Anything…,” “High Fidelity” and “Identity.”

Let us know what you think. Is John Cusack underrated? Agree? Disagree?

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes


  1. Anonymous said...

    Yes!!! John cusack is underrated.
    Love his films , I've many favorites. Saw HTTM thought it was great. Yellowdaisey says:
    John cusack for President !!!

    Sooooooooo I Agree!!!