Throughout his career, Alfred Molina has played historical figures like Diego Rivera and iconic comic book characters like Dr. Otto Octavius. Along with these characters and dozens more, Molina is able to make the most of each of her roles and make them feel human, even with those who are to say the least hateful. We see him all the time, and it’s likely we’ll continue to see him as his career progresses.
If you looked Spider-Man: No Path Home and want to revisit some of Alfred Molina’s best films, or perhaps take a trip through his catalog of works for the first time, you’ve come to the right place. Below are 10 of its best movie deals along with a little bonus at the end.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The second part of Sam Raimi’s trilogy, Spider-man 2 follows Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) as he comes face to face with one of his deadliest enemies, Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), after a failed experiment turns ambitious Dr. Otto Octavius into a man driven mad by his own faults and trapped in his own machine.
The strength of the film lies in Molina’s portrayal of a man tortured by failure and guilt when his attempt to make the world a better place blows in his face and takes everything he has always loved. Molina didn’t have to be so good to Spider-man 2 work, but we’re all better off because of his dedication to this role.
Stream Spider-Man 2 on Peacock.
Rent / Buy Spider-Man 2 on Amazon.
Buy Spider-Man 2 on DVD / Blu-ray on Amazon.
Julie Taymor’s 2002 Oscar-winning biopic Frida focuses on the life of famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) from the accident that left her with lifelong injuries until the opening of her first solo exhibition in her home country. Along the way, Kahlo meets and falls in love with Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), a talented artist with problematic political affiliations.
Objectively, Diego Rivera is not a great person throughout Frida. He is stubborn, unfaithful to his wife, and difficult. Despite this, Alfred Molina finds humanity in man and his art and in turn creates a captivating portrayal of the complicated artist.
Stream Frida on HBO Max.
Rent / Buy Frida on Amazon.
Buy Frida on DVD / Blu-ray on Amazon.
Boogie Nights (1997)
that of Paul Thomas Anderson Boogie evenings focuses on the seedy world of the San Fernando Valley in 1977 largely told through the eyes of busboy-turned-pornstar Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), aka Dirk Diggler. This film, like most of PTA’s work, has a great cast that tells an uplifting tale of fame, excess, and infamy with some of its best characters.
Alfred Molina appears towards the end of the film as Rahad Jackson, a drug dealer Todd Parker (Thomas Jane) tries to scam to the chagrin of Dirk Diggler and Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly). Molina’s appearance, demeanor, and manic demeanor make her a place you can’t stop staring at, even if something bad is waiting for you around the corner.
Stream Boogie Nights on Showtime.
Rent / Buy Boogie Nights on Amazon.
Buy Boogie Nights on DVD / Blu-ray on Amazon.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic psychological drama Magnolia follows an assortment of characters whose lives are linked in one way or another. One of the main subjects of the film is Donnie Smith (William H. Macy), who won a quiz as a child but never performed anything as an adult. Just before reaching his breaking point, Donnie is fired from his job during a comedic but intense scene with his employer Solomon Solomon (Alfred Molina).
This is another performance by Alfred Molina where he shoots so much from so little and provides one of the best scenes in the film. When watching or re-seeing this scene, just focus on Molina’s facial expressions (especially her eyebrows) and pick up on the story they tell. You can even watch him mute while picking up exactly what he’s thinking and feeling.
Stream Magnolia on Netflix.
Rent / Buy Magnolia on Amazon.
Buy Magnolia on DVD / Blu-ray on Amazon.
Stretch Out Your Ears (1987)
Directed by Stephen Frears, the 1987 biographical drama Strain out your ears tells the story of British playwright Joe Orton (Gary Oldman) and his companion Kenneth Halliwell (Alfred Molina) as they go from drama school mates to friends and ultimately lovers. But all does not go well in the relationship and the couple start to drift in two different directions when Orton finds professional successes, triggering something in his lover.
This in no way detracts from Gary Oldman’s performance in Strain out your ears, but Alfred Molina steals the show every time he’s onscreen here. The way he captures his character’s fear, pain, and loathing is really something to see and takes the film to the next level.
Stream Prick Up Your Ears on Tubi.
Buy Prick Up Your Ears on DVD / Blu-ray on Amazon.
An education (2009)
Lone Scherfig’s coming-of-age drama in 2009 An education follows Jenny Mellor (Carey Mulligan), a teenage dreamer of attending Oxford University who is carried away by an older sophisticated man named David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard). The quick and furious romance seems to be the real deal and even Jenny’s parents, Jack (Alfred Molina) and Marjorie (Cara Seymour) are in awe of the dashing man, but all is not as it seems.
There are a few standout moments of Alfred Molina throughout An education with the most heartbreaking of the group in a pivotal scene in which Jack tries to apologize to his daughter after a terrible revelation. While the apology is far from perfect, Molina is able to capture the pain and apprehensions of a father who thought he was doing the right thing.
Rent / Buy Education on Amazon.
Buy An Education on DVD / Blu-ray on Amazon.
2002 drama by Lasse Hallström Chocolate tells the story of Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche), a free chocolate maker who arrives in a modest and rather strict French village and impacts the lives of city dwellers by opening their eyes to new experiences. Vianne finds success with a chocolate factory and strong relationships with several people in the city, but meets resistance with her mayor the Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), which leads to a series of complications.
The character of the Earl of Reynaud might have been just your standard authority figure who resists change, but Alfred Molina’s portrayal makes the town ruler look all the more complicated and realistic. That doesn’t mean he’s a great person, but he’s far from bad or immune to redemption.
Stream Chocolat on Amazon.
Rent / Buy Chocolate on Amazon.
Buy Chocolate on Amazon.
Love is Strange (2014)
Love is strange, a 2014 romantic drama directed by Ira Sachs, follows Ben Hull (John Lithgow) and George Garea (Alfred Molina), a same-sex couple who decide to marry after nearly 40 years as a couple. But when this news is discovered by George’s employer, the Archdiocese of New York, he is fired and the couple are forced to live in separate apartments with friends and family until they can find a job. house that they can afford together.
No surprise here but Alfred Molina and John Lithgow amaze in Love is strange and have that chemistry that makes them look like a lot more than just characters on the screen. Both are at the top of their game here and make it a must-watch movie.
Rent / Buy Love Is Strange on Amazon.
Buy Love is Strange on Amazon.
The First Runner (2018)
Jason Reitman’s 2018 political drama The front runner explores how Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) went from being a Democratic presidential candidate in 1988 to another political figure haunted by past connections. During the eventful episode, several people enter the fray in search of blood, including reporters from the Washington Post, including editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee (Alfred Molina) who faces his own crises with evolution. of the media landscape.
Alfred Molina’s Ben Bradlee is neither a hero nor a villain in The front runner, but rather a complicated man somewhere in the middle. His decisions to cover up the Gary Hart scandal weigh heavily on him throughout the film and this wear and tear on his psyche is beautifully portrayed by the actor.
Rent / Buy The Front Runner on Amazon.
Buy The Front Runner on DVD / Blu-ray on Amazon.
The Normal Heart (2014)
Ryan Murphy’s original movie on HBO in 2014 The normal heart follows Alexander “Ned” Weeks (Mark Ruffalo) as he leads a crusade alongside other gay men across the country to expose the truth behind the AIDS crisis and raise awareness of treatment before it’s too late. Besides convincing the audience of the seriousness of the situation, Ned must also convince his older and more conservative brother Ben Weeks (Alfred Molina).
One of the biggest discussion threads The normal heart is the brotherly relationship shared by Ned and Ben Weeks, which is further enhanced by Mark Ruffalo and Alfred Molina. The way they play each other is less like two actors on a soundstage and more like two brothers trying to understand each other.
Stream The Normal Heart on HBO Max.
Rent / Buy The Normal Heart on Amazon.
Buy The Normal Heart on DVD / Blu-ray on Amazon.
BONUS: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Before he sat at the top of the box office with one of Marvel’s biggest Phase 4 movies, Alfred Molina made his film debut as a double-crossing guide Satipo who betrayed Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in The Raiders of the Lost Ark. Molina is only in the film for a few minutes at best, but you have to start somewhere …
Stream Raiders of the Lost Ark on Paramount +.
Rent / Buy Raiders of the Lost Ark on Amazon.
Buy Raiders of the Lost Ark on DVD / Blu-ray at Amazon.
Hope this helps you determine which of the best Alfred Molina movies you would like to explore. There’s a lot to choose from, but it’s hard to go wrong with such a talented and prolific actor.