Kevin Spacey is one of the most well-known and celebrated actors of all time, amassing a large number of Academy Award and Golden Globe wins and nominations, in addition to numerous other accolades. His work has proven time and time again to be stellar, and he is known for his ability to really bring a character to life and keep the audience captivated. Spacey has starred in a variety of genres including comedy, drama, and of course, action and thriller films. If you’re looking for a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat movie experience, here are the best Kevin Spacey movies you must watch.

  1. Seven (1995)

Seven, relatively early in Spacey’s career, is a thrilling crime/mystery film starring himself alongside Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Seven follows two detectives investigating a number of mysterious murders supposedly inspired by the seven deadly sins. They eventually uncover a deadly plot created by a unique and sinister sadistic serial killer, leading to an unforgettable climax.

  1. The Usual Suspects (1995)

The Usual Suspects is a classic crime/mystery movie elevated by a stunning ensemble performance and even a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award-winning performance by Spacey. This film follows a group of five criminals as they are interrogated by police after a daring heist gone wrong. Through a series of events, the criminals attempt to discover the hidden mastermind orchestrating the heist.

  1. A Time to Kill (1996)

A Time to Kill is one of Spacey’s most shaken performances. This courtroom drama follows a father who goes on trial for killing two men who were about to get away with the rape of his young daughter. Spacey plays a smooth-tongued and determined defense lawyer who attempts to sway the jury’s decision before things get too late and the fate of the father is sealed.

  1. American Beauty (1999)

American Beauty is a black comedy-drama that earned Spacey an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a frustrated suburban office worker who lives a thoroughly mundane and unhappy life until he rekindles a spur-of-the-moment infatuation with his daughter’s friend. His newfound passion stirs up trouble which he never could have imagined.

  1. Pay It Forward (2000)

In Pay It Forward, Spacey plays a seedy and sad homeless reporter who bonds with a troubled student (played by Haley Joel Osment) and serves as his moral compass. This film follows the student’s idea of trying to ‘pay it forward’ by committing random acts of kindness for three people, for which they are asked to pay it forward in their own life. Spacey shows off his acting chops as the lawyer tries to inspire the student and ultimately change his outlook on life and the world.

  1. K-PAX (2001)

In K-PAX, Spacey stars alongside Jeff Bridges as a psychiatrist attempting to determine if one of his patients is sane by day or somehow mentally connected to a distant planet called K-PAX by night. This science fiction-drama raises philosophical questions about existence and humanity as the patient, claiming to be an alien called Prot, transports 6 other people to K-PAX with his mind.

  1. The Life of David Gale (2003)

The Life of David Gale follows a college professor, played by Spacey, who is accused and convicted of a crime he is adamant he did not commit. This thrilling film also stars Kate Winslet and Laura Linney and follows Gale as he awaits his execution and attempts to uncover the truth behind his wrongful conviction, gradually revealing a vast yet intricate conspiracy.

  1. Beyond the Sea (2004)

Beyond the Sea is a musical bio-drama starring Spacey as Bobby Darin, a legendary singer and songwriter. Spacey also wrote and directed the film, for which he received considerable criticism for his vanity project. However, if you can look past the criticisms and forgive the director, you will be able to enjoy a fairly solid biopic and exquisite musical numbers.

  1. Casino Jack (2010)

Casino Jack is a black comedy crime-drama that follows a senator embroiled in an influence-peddling investigation who also gets entangled in criminal activities from his ties with organized crime. Spacey gives a captivating performance as the senator and motivates the audience to keep on guessing until the finale.

  1. House of Cards (2013–2018)

House of Cards is an American political thriller directed by David Fincher and starring Spacey as the main lead, alongside the very talented Robin Wright. This Netflix hit follows a ruthless politician determined to rise to power in Washington and take revenge on those who have betrayed him. Spacey’s performance as the scheming Congressman Francis Underwood is as extraordinary as ever in this series.

With his versatile acting ability and ample talent, it comes as no surprise that Kevin Spacey has consistently delivered captivating and thrilling performances throughout his extensive career. Now you know which movies you should queue up if you want to watch Spacey in action and be on the edge of your seat. Have you seen any of these films? Which one was your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!

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