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Best Viggo Mortensen Movies

Updated on January 4, 2014
VIggo Mortensen as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings Triligy
VIggo Mortensen as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings Triligy | Source

What is your favorite Viggo Mortensen Movie?

What is your favorite Viggo Mortensen Movie? If you've hit the internet because you're thinking, 'what's a good Viggo Mortensen movie?', then you're in the right place. We're going to review some of his best performances and take a look at a couple Viggo films you may not have heard of.

In case you don't know, let's take a quick look at WHO Viggo Mortenson is first:

Viggo Mortensen is a Renaissance man with multiple talents. Most notably he is an actor. However, what most people don't know is the he is also a poet, musician, photographer and painter.

As an actor, which is what we'll be focusing on, he first appeared on the Silver Screen in Witness, a film by Peter Weir's from 1985. It was a thriller staring Harrison Ford. Smaller part, but it got him the attention needed to get other opportunities.

Through the 1990s, you might have seen him in films like Sean Penn's The Indian Runner, Carlito's Way with Al Pacino, Crimson Tide directed by Tony Scott with Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. Other films worth noting we Daylight, The Portrait of a Lady, G.I. Jane, A Perfect Murder, and A Walk on the Moon.

More recently Viggo solidified his place as an internationally recognized film actor when he took on the roll of Aragorn in The Lord of The Rings Trilogy.

As an actor, he has 54 titles to his name according to the IMDB. This man does amazing work. As an actor he is truthful and consistently embraces every role he takes on. His performances are real, passionate, honest and open.

Group Theatre Alumni and acting coach Sanford Meisner defined acting as "living truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Viggo is a prime example of that.

We're going to look at some of his best performances (at least in my opinion) so if one's missing or you have a difference of opinion, by all means, leave a comment below.

So let's get going!

The Lord of The Rings Trilogy

Aragorn son of Arathorn - a classic hero character if there ever was one. Aragorn is one of those hero characters that inspires you to be a better you! He's a character with a solid moral compass and a leader. The other characters in the film look to him for strength and inspiration. My favorite part of Viggo's performance is the level of humility and understanding he has of what's at stake not only for him but all of Middle Earth. He is quite brilliant at showing vulnerability in the strong archetype hero and he manages to carry this through all three while showing the evolution of the character.

Carlito's Way

This was my first exposure to Viggo. Lalin! Great character acting. When I saw this movie, being a huge Pacino fan, I knew I was in for a ride especially with Sean Penn as a co-star. What was most impressive was the caliber of supporting roles like Viggo. It's a short role with not a lot of screen time, but what you'll see from watching him work is that he brings history to the character that goes beyond the script. We understand just enough from the dialog to see who Lalin is but it's Viggo's delivery of desperation and willingness to risk it all when he really has nothing to loose. Great role for Viggo and a fantastic ensemble cast. Love this movie!

A History of Violence

A History of Violence

In A History of Violence, Viggo plays a mild-mannered man restaurant owner who becomes the town hero through a defensive act of violence, which opens doors he thought were closed. These repercussions that will shake his family to its very core. A History of Violence is an adaptation of the 1997 graphic novel of the same name by John Wagner and Vince Locke.

If you haven't seen this film, put the kids to bed a little early and fire it up. Viggo kills it, literally, and his portrayal of a man looking to rid himself of a past that refuses to let go is very real. Graphic Novels and comic books seem to portray extraordinary people in HIGHLY extraordinary circumstances. Good drama, both in literature and in film show ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and History Of Violence handles this very well. Viggo's character is real and easy to empathize with.


Eastern Promises

A History Of Violence director, David Cronenberg and Viggo team up again to bring the story of a Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth. She leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family. Naomi Watts as the midwife, unwittingly stumbles into this clandestine Russian sex trafficking ring.

Viggo's character Nikolai Luzhin is the Mobb's family cleaner and enforcer. Handling family business accordingly while holding on to a dark secret that Viggo plays off with shear perfection.



Directed by Ed Harris and probably one of the most "human" westerns ever filmed. The relationship between Virgil and Everett is a classic male bonded brotherhood. Two men against the world. Throw in an evil rancher and a pretty lady and you got trouble my friend right here in River City... or Appaloosa!

Best part of this film for me is that you can tell how carefully and precisely Viggo researched the time, style, mannerisms and behavior of Victorian gentlemen. He plays Everett Hitch to a tee.



The story of Frank Hopkins, Hidalgo is based on a true story and tells the tale of Frank's long distance horse race across the Arabian desert. The film, set in 1891 has Viggo as Frank Hopkins, half European and half Lakota, being claimed in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show as the world's greatest long distance rider. Frank in earlier years, rode as a dispatch rider for the U.S. Government and Calvery. Come to find out that a Shiekh here's of this claim and challenges Frank and Hidalgo to ride in this race.

Many challenges, face Frank in the race, not just from the environment, but from being the first infidel to race across The Ocean Of Fire. Steeped in mystery and filled with action and adventure, Hidalgo is a fun film, Viggo plays Frank as humble and proud truely mixing the Euro with the Native.

Not the most well received, Hollywood seldom makes these kind of adventure movies anymore and in that respect it is a throwback and tribute to that and one of my more favorite Viggo films.

Viggo Mortensen Movies

Which Of These Is Your Favorite Viggo Mortensen Movie?

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10 Questions for Viggo Mortensen

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Comments: Which one did I miss? What's Your Favorite Performance By Viggo and why?

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    • David R Bradley profile image

      David R Bradley 4 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Haven't seen that one, Kevina, heard good things - what did you like about it?

    • Kevina Oyatedor profile image

      kevina oyatedor 4 years ago

      A Dangerous Method with Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightly. Great hub.