The 10 best roles of Luis Guzmán, according to IMDb
With the announcement that Luis Guzmán would play the role of Gómez Addams in the next series Wednesday, fans of the veteran actor couldn’t help but look back at his best roles. Guzmán is primarily known as a comedic performer, but he has also impressed with his dramatic skills.
From critically acclaimed films like Boogie Nights to crime dramas like narcos, Guzmán’s incredible career has taken him to both television and film. While he’s always fantastic in everything he appears in, some of Guzmán’s works have earned higher ratings on IMDb.
10 Punch-Drunk Love (2002) – 7.3
Guzman has a strong working relationship with director Paul Thomas Anderson, and this has led to roles in a lot of great films. Punch-Drunk Love is the story of Barry, a lonely man who jeopardizes his budding relationship when he starts calling a sex hotline.
Not only does Guzmán shine as Lance, one of Barry’s antagonistic co-workers, but Adam Sandler surprised many with his complex dramatic performance. Although Punch-Drunk Love not the best of what Paul Thomas Anderson has to offer, it featured a strong cast and was an interesting outlet for the filmmaker.
9 Traffic (2000) – 7.6
Steven Soderbergh’s films tend to be epic in scale and often need an epic-sized cast to accompany them. traffic covers all aspects of the illegal drug trade and tells the story from the perspective of users, dealers, and the federal agents who want to stop them.
Having played criminals and cops, Guzman was perfect in his role as Ray Castro, as he works undercover for the DEA. The film’s overall themes were complex and political, and many audience members were divided. It is considered one of Steven Soderbergh’s best films, but remains divisive to this day.
8 The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) – 7.7
Adapting ancient literature to a modern film is a difficult thing to achieve, but Dumas’ 2002 adaptation The Count of Monte Cristo breathed new life into the epic novel. When he is falsely imprisoned by a jealous friend, Edmond manages to escape and embarks on a quest for revenge.
Fitting perfectly with his trademark playful energy, Guzmán appears as Jacopo, an imprisoned pirate who swears loyalty to Edmond after he spares his life. Guzmán gets a chance to be comic relief, and adds another layer to the film that would have been missing without him. The script took the best parts of the novel and distilled them, and is an underrated adaptation of a classic book.
7 Carlito’s Way (1993) – 7.9
Al Pacino’s career in organized crime films has seen him play a number of different characters and Carlito’s path it was one of his most unique. Recently released from a long prison sentence, Carlito decides to follow the straight and narrow path despite his close association with organized crime.
Guzmán’s previous roles were usually smaller characters, but his turn as Pachanga was one of the first flashes of his brilliance as a performer. As Carlito tries to alienate his old family, his bodyguard Pachanga drifts further and further away from his employer. While Pacino could be counted on to carry a film, much of the success of Carlito’s path it was his supporting cast, specifically Guzmán himself.
6 Boogie Nights (1997) – 7.9
Generally considered one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s best films, Boogie Nights he told his typically sprawling story with an array of colorful characters. Set in the 1970s San Fernando Valley, the film is about an idealistic porn producer who is inspired to change the business after meeting his future star.
Despite a cast of excellent performers and characters, Luis Guzmán still managed to stand out as the ambitious nightclub owner Maurice. Unshakable and raw, but divided in his humor, Boogie Nights he used his epic scale to capture a bygone era and show almost every facet of the time he tried to convey.
5 Code Black (2015–18) – 8.0
Hospital dramas are often successful, but short-lived series Code Black impressed the viewers with its genuine emotions and realistic settings. Set in the emergency room of an understaffed and underfunded Los Angeles hospital, the series follows four young doctors as they learn their craft.
Guzmán had a big role on the show as Salander, the firm but fair head nurse who genuinely cares about her charges. Unlike shows like Grey’s Anatomywhich grew to ridiculous proportions over the years, Code Black‘s short run meant the show was solid throughout. Guzmán has a powerful presence in the series and his work is what helped make it such a strong procedural.
4 Magnolia (1999) – 8.0
Interweaving their narratives brilliantly, Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnolia it was a perfect illustration of his talent as a filmmaker. The film is epic in nature and combines several plots involving a dying man reconnecting with his son and a police officer trying to establish a relationship with a witness.
Guzmán plays Luis, an insignificant character in the story, but he shows what kind of performer he is. Stealing a scene is one thing, but a truly powerful actor can step in when the film calls for it. Usually considered one of Tom Cruise’s best roles, magnolia saw the veteran actor stretch his horizons, and his plot line was the strongest in the entire film.
3 Shameless (2011–21) – 8.6
During his decade on the air, shameless shocked viewers with its raunchy characters and over-the-top plots. The series follows the Gallagher family, a band of up-and-comers who make their way through life by avoiding the law and usually doing the worst they can in every scenario.
The series introduced a plethora of memorable supporting characters throughout its run, with Guzmán’s appearances as Mikey O’Shea being arguably the highlight. Competing against Frank to be the Hobo Loco spokesperson, O’Shea makes it his mission to outdo the older Gallagher in almost everything. Although the quality of the series had dropped in its last few seasons, there were still flashes of hilarious brilliance.
2 Oz (1997–2003)
Although the 00s are usually the decade associated with the rise of prestige television, oz proved that the late 90s were also a bed for excellent programs. The series followed the day-to-day activities of a prison and chronicled the lives of its inhabitants and the people who worked.
Guzmán had a brilliant arc on the show as Raoul “El Cid” Hernandez, a gang member who arrives in Oz accused of murder. Bucking his tendency as a slightly comical performer, Guzmán brilliantly imbues Hernandez with just enough nastiness to make him one of the show’s best villains. Although Guzmán was just one of many amazing performers on the show, he remains one of the most memorable.
1 Narcos (2015–17)
When Luis Guzmán arrived narcos, was already a respected elder statesman of acting and brought gravitas to the Netflix series. The series follows the exaggerated exploits of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Playing Gacha, an armed recruit in Escobar’s smuggling enterprise, Guzmán showed his dramatic skills and impressed audiences who had only seen him as a background actor. Flexing his chameleon skills, Guzmán’s turn as Gacha is almost unrecognizable, reminding viewers just how good he could be.
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