So Lost is gone. If you’re like me, you will never be able to look at pretty much any of these actors the same way again. Terry O’Quinn will always be Locke. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje will always be Mr. Eko. Andrew Divoff will always be Mikhail, the eye-patch wearing Russian who just won’t die. I’ve been watching other TV shows recently to help ease the pain of Lost’s imminent departure, and enjoyed seeing many of these actors in dramas (Miles on The Sopranos, Jacob on Dexter, Widmore on 24, Eko and Michael on OZ) and comedies (Jin in an episode of Seinfeld, Hurley in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Juliet on V). However, nothing brings joy like seeing a movie with one of your favorite show’s actors in it. Here are twenty-five worthwhile rentals– and a few links to reviews of them– if you’re looking to see some of your favorite Losties again.
25. Saw- While this film is campy, gruesome, and more or less pointless and I wouldn’t recommend it at all unless you’re trying to see Lost actors, you will get a smile when you see Michael Emerson, before playing Ben Linus, already revealing his shady ways. Bonus: Ken Leung, who played Miles Straume, plays a detective in the film as well.
24. For Love of the Game- Easily the dullest of Kevin Costner’s baseball films, and mostly famous nowadays for the reports that Kevin Costner had a full-frontal nudity scene that had to be cut due to causing giggles from the audience, if you stumble upon it on TNT on a lazy Sunday, watch for Michael Emerson in a small role as a bellhop, and Daniel Dae Kim as an ER doctor.
23. X-Men Origins: Wolverine- Overall a giant bomb, this is really only worth watching if looking for Losties as superheroes. Check out Kevin Durand, the evil Keamy who shot Ben’s daughter, as The Blob, and Dominic Monaghan, our favorite drug addict Charlie Pace, as Bolt. Kevin Durand is one of the better character actors working today (he’s the best part of Robin Hood, in theaters now), and Dominic Monaghan has a flair for playing the jaded (he was the best part of TV’s Flash Forward, no longer on ABC). Hopefully we see them in more films heading forward… better than this one.
22. Mission: Impossible 2- William Mapother, who played Ethan Rom, is the younger cousin of Tom Cruise, whose real name is Thomas Cruise Mapother. As a result, Mapother has been in a number of Cruise’s films. He’s always most effective playing a villain, as seen on Lost, and even more recently on Fox’s Human Target. In the very silly but very fun Mission: Impossible 2, he plays one of the chief cronies of the film’s villain and gives us a good taste of that nefarious Ethan-ness.
21. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull- Continuing our run of silly action films, here’s the most recent Indiana Jones installment. Before pushing stop to avoid the film’s ridiculous conclusion, look for Alan Dale, a.k.a. Charles Widmore, as a general. Also, be on the lookout for Andrew Divoff, our friendly one-eyed Mikhail, as a two-eyed Russian soldier fighting our heroes here.
20. Air Force One- If you didn’t get enough Andrew Divoff from Indy IV, he plays one of the evil Russian planejackers in this incredibly fun Harrison Ford flick. It’s a grade better than the Indiana Jones film, and while the Lost impact isn’t huge, at least you get to hear Ford say one of the great one-liners in movie history: “GET OFF MY PLANE.”
19. Love Actually- Remember Nikki and Paolo? The gorgeous characters introduced in Season 3 who were quickly disposed of and buried? I recognized Paolo, played by Rodrigo Santoro, from his performance as Laura Linney’s object of lust in this sensational romantic comedy, one of the best of its genre. (If you’re craving more Nikki and Paolo, you can see Paolo as Xerxes under all that makeup and voice modulation in 300, and Kiele Sanchez looking mighty fine in a substantial role in the recent thriller A Perfect Getaway.)
18. Antwone Fisher- Anyone else angry that they never resolved Walt’s storyline? They built him up to be special, then once the actor got older and grew up, they threw his character away like yesterday’s garbage. In this terrific biopic, the only biopic I can recall that was written by its subject, you can see Malcolm David Kelley in his younger days, playing the young version of the title character.
17. GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra- While overall this film is quite silly and disposable, it gives us two Lost actors as main members of the GI Joe unit. Said Taghmaoui, who played Caesar, Ilana’s #2 in the crew that arrived toward the end of Season Five, is featured here. But the real reason I get amped as a Lost geek seeing this film is watching Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, formerly Mr. Eko (another character I was mad I never saw again), helping lead the team of Joes into battle. You can also see Akinnuoye-Agbaje as a tough guy African villain in the sequels The Mummy Returns and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
16. Rescue Dawn- Werner Herzog is a mad man and a genius director. He remade his own documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly, into a feature starring Christian Bale. Jeremy Davies, a.k.a. Daniel Faraday, is one of the few imprisoned with Bale in the film. Also, be on the lookout for Francois Chau, who played Dharma Orientation teacher Dr. Chang, as a governor.
15. Avatar- Yes, odds are you’ve seen this already. You probably own the DVD or Blu-Ray. You’ve probably read my review here. And if you’re like me, when you saw Michelle Rodriguez saunter onto the screen, you thought, “Ana Lucia!” Unlike in Lost, where her character goes down contemplating doing the wrong thing, she gets a noble glorified final scene in James Cameron’s script.
14. Gone Baby Gone- Ben Affleck’s directing debut is terrific, and Casey Affleck shows leading man potential in this Dennis Lehane detective film. However, if while sitting through the drama, you heard strange clicking noises and whooshes, it’s because the Man In Black apparently left the island successfully. Titus Welliver, so great in his few episodes as the Man In Black, is part of the kidnapped girl’s family here.
13. William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet- Depending on if you’re a Baz Luhrmann fan or not, you might either love or hate this modernized version with the original dialogue, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star-crossed lovers. However, regardless of what you think of the film itself, it’s an absolute must-see for Lost fans to watch Harold Perrineau, the murderous Michael, camping it up as Mercutio. Perrineau is a great actor that I’d love to see continue to get more work in his post-Lost career. You can also see him as Link in the Matrix sequels.
12. Frequency- This film is fairly sentimental and manipulative, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t hit me in the gut every time. Gregory Hoblit, who also directed Primal Fear, wrings every sob possible in this very effective father-son drama. Elizabeth Mitchell, who played Juliet, plays Dennis Quaid’s wife, the mother of Jim Caviezel, who becomes doomed when Caviezel warns Quaid about a fire in the past and saves his life, thus seemingly dooming Mitchell. Time travel and daddy issues? I bet Mitchell felt right at home on Lost.
11. The Hurt Locker- The Oscar winner for Best Picture this most recent year also is one of the rare film appearances by Evangeline Lilly. She plays the wife of Jeremy Renner’s main character, and she is very effective in her limited appearances. As a mother who doesn’t plan on acting as anything more than a hobby, it’s unlikely we’ll see Lilly very much in the future.
10. The Fugitive- Recognize any of Tommy Lee Jones’ deputies? It should be easy to spot L. Scott Caldwell, who played Rose– she looks similar now as she did then. But how about the mustachioed man, playing Deputy Biggs? Hint: he also played Jay Leno in The Late Shift. Still not looking familiar? It’s Daniel Roebuck, the man about whom Hurley famously said, “Dude, you’ve got some Arzt on you.”
9. Capote- Mark Pellegrino, the benevolent Jacob, has shown even deeper moral ambiguity in the past, playing the murderous subject of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood in the film Capote. The film follows Philip Seymour Hoffman as the author, interviewing two murderers for a book he’s writing. While Clifton Collins Jr. plays the larger role as Perry Smith, the murderer who gets close to Capote, Pellegrino certainly looks vicious as Dick Hickock, Smith’s accomplice. This and Season 1 of Dexter, where Pellegrino plays a drug-abusing wife-beater, are required viewing for anyone who’s never seen him outside of Lost.
8. Sideways- Ah, Mr. Friendly. You wear fake beards. You kidnap children. You’re gay. You’re one of the more interesting characters ever on an endlessly interesting show, played dutifully by MC Gainey. He often plays a tough guy, but never has he *ahem* exposed more of himself to audiences than in the film Sideways, in which every single moment he is on screen, he is fully naked. Yes folks, you get to see every square inch of Mr. Friendly, including his Mr. Friendly, as he runs naked down the road chasing Paul Giamatti. It’s a terrific movie, and a shocking, hysterical moment.
7. Planet Terror- Tarantino’s half of Grindhouse, the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez ode to B-movies, was the atrocious Death Proof, one of the worst movies by a “great director” I’ve ever seen. Rodriguez’s half, however, is the enormously gory, enormously funny, and enormously successful Planet Terror (what a title!). Amidst the all-star cast are two Losties, Naveen Andrews, no longer torturing folks as Sayid, but instead gunning down zombies. Also, Jeff Fahey, the gruff pilot Lapidus, shows up here and in the fake movie trailers that played between the two films in theaters. He’ll been seen reprising one of those trailer roles in the spin-off, the Rodriguez-directed Machete.
6. The Lord of the Rings trilogy- When you started watching Lost, odds are you didn’t see Dominic Monaghan as Charlie right away, instead seeing him as Merry from the Lord of the Rings films. It took a while for the show to help him ditch that image, but now he will forever be Charlie. It’s fun now watching these unbelievable epics after seeing Merry as Charlie for so long. Plus, they’re worth watching even if you don’t like Lost. They’re incredible films.
5. Brick- One of my favorite underrated movies of the last decade or so is Rian Johnson’s Brick, a modern-day hard-boiled film noir set in a California high school. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the student on the hunt for who killed his girlfriend, played by Emilie de Ravin, far more charming here than she was as the perpetually whiny Claire. Johnson went on to do the wonderful The Brothers Bloom last year… you really should seek out this movie if you’re a Lost fan or not.
4. Speed Racer- Few movies have been more unfairly maligned recently than Speed Racer. Critics derided its bold colors and its stylized acting… but it perfectly captured the source material! Plus, there are few films which look better in Blu-Ray than this one. The casting was spot-on down the line, but perhaps best of all was Matthew Fox as Racer X. He captures the gruffness and sense of menace while also showing the heart underneath. It was easily his best performance in a film to date.
3. Tombstone- This entertaining shoot-em-up Western, starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, has aged surprisingly well. Most surprising of all when watching it recently was the revelation that the mayor of the town is played by none other than Terry O’Quinn, our John Locke. He sports a mean mustache, but there’s no mistaking that very Locke-like delivery. He’s been in a few films, including playing the title character in the original The Stepfather, but seeing my favorite Lost character in this great movie has somehow managed to make me even fonder of it.
2. Saving Private Ryan- The character that always got to me watching this film was the scared Col. Upham, playing by Jeremy Davies. When I first saw him on Lost, that was all I could think about– him crouching on that stairway, afraid to attack. It’s a haunting performance, the best in a film full of great performances by strong actors. Davies will continue to get plenty of work going forward from Lost– even if he’d never been on Lost, the strength of this performance assured him a long career as a character actor.
1. Smokin Aces- Okay, this film is nowhere near as good as the last few. However, this is the only one with THREE Lost alums on it. Kevin Durand plays a redneck chainsaw killer (his brother in the film? None other than Chris Pine, who went on to be Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek film), and shows more of his trademark intensity and insanity. Nestor Carbonelli also plays a cold-blooded assassin in the movie. Among his victims? A hotel clerk, played by none other than Jack himself, Matthew Fox. As you watch the scene, you can’t help but think how funny it is that Richard is consoling Jack after cruelly murdering him. It’s a violent uneven film, with some fun moments interspersed among the grisly, but it’s the quintessential film for anyone who wants to see Losties.