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The 25 Best Movie Performances of the Decade

November 17, 2009  |  7:00am
The 25 Best Movie Performances of the Decade
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20. Anne Hathaway as Kym Buchman
Rachel Getting Married (2008)

No one expected Anne Hathaway to take on the role of an ex-junkie in Rachel Getting Married, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t deserve it. Hathaway nimbly sidesteps the clichés inherent in her character and creates a moving portrait of renewal and hope. Sean Gandert

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19. Gene Hackman as Royal Tenenbaum
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Owen Wilson was brilliant in this film. Ben Stiller was brilliant in this film. Anjelica Huston was brilliant in this film. But it was Gene Hackman as the title character and family patriarch who made The Royal Tenenbaums the one of the 10 Best Movies of the Decade. Josh Jackson

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18. Laura Linney as Sammy Prescott
You Can Count on Me (2000)

Laura Linney may have been the decade’s best everywoman, giving import to the daily stresses of juggling work and family dysfunction. That distinction began with 2000’s You Can Count on Me, with a wayward brother, an overbearing boss, an infatuated new boyfriend, an abusive ex-husband and a fatherless son spinning around her center of gravity. Josh Jackson

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17. Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Perhaps the best actress of her generation, Kate Winslet brought a stunning performance to every film she made, regardless of how inconsequential they may have been. No movie showcased her talents better than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which allowed her to bounce from serious to playful in a matter of moments. Sean Gandert

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16. Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Her best of a fourth decade of outstanding performances. No one’s better at giving proper justice to a good script and a strong cast. Tim Basham

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