It’s not difficult to find Liam Neeson in something big and memorable, such as Schindler’s List, Taken or Gangs of New York, but among his 100 movies are plenty of little gems you may have missed. Here are five favourites: The Grey (2012) It’s man against nature in this drama about stranded oil workers near the Arctic circle being attacked by wolves. Neeson plays a hunter who leads the survivors of a plane crash in their attempts to outsmart the savage animals; this is about survival of the spirit as well as the flesh.
Husbands and Wives (1992) We don’t like Woody Allen either, but this comedy/drama mix about relationships and broken marriages features Neeson as the ‘new guy’ and also stars Judy Davis, Mia Farrow and Sydney Pollack, all wonderful here. This is Allen’s last movie before the cracks began to show.
Breakfast on Pluto (2005) Director Neil Jordan’s adaptation of a Patrick McCabe novel stars Cillian Murphy as the beautiful transvestite Kitten, who leaves Ireland to find her birth mother — and adventure and acceptance — in London. Liam Neeson plays a kind, long-suffering priest and the cast includes Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Rea and Ruth Nega.
Run, don’t walk. Seraphim Falls (2007) Revenge drama set in the wilds of Nevada, after the Civil War. One man (Neeson) hunts another (Pierce Brosnan) for reasons that are eventually revealed — but mostly this is a fantastic chase drama, set in punishing terrain. Also with Anjelica Huston. Les Miserables (1998) Never mind all that singing and dancing with Anne Hathaway. This earlier version of Les Mis stars Neeson as Jean Valjean and Geoffrey Rush as the relentless Javert, not to mention Uma Thurman as the doomed Fantine and Claire Danes as Cosette. Plenty of extra-super-drama. Bring a hankie.