Movie Sleuth Satire: The Ten (Plus One) Best Actors of Their Generation....Millennial Edition


Millennials. Are. The. Worst. Amirite? 

Whether they're mooching off their parents by living in the basement, or chronicling every microsecond of their vapid existence on SnapGoogleTweetFace, these narcissistic nincompoops are the generation everyone loves to hate. 

But even this curmudgeonly critic has to concede they've produced a bumper crop of some damn fine actors. Even if their aspirations to become "instafamous" by "building their brand" make my generation ROFL. Back in my day, we studied the Method directly under Stanislavsky AND Stella Adler! And if Pauline Kael were still alive, she'd --

-- Sorry. My editor's cutting me off and telling me to get to the list. (He's half my age, of course.) Here it is, in no particular order: 




Shia LaBeouf - I gotta tell ya--when I first saw this kid on "Even Stevens," I said "Get Jack Valenti on the line. He's gonna be a star." Perhaps no other actor has carried the torch for Marlon Brando more than Shia LaBeouf, with his brooding intensity, singular dedication to his process, and seemingly limitless range. His antics do get under my skin a bit, though. Don't get me wrong, we liked to cut loose back in the day too, but we did it discreetly. Why, this one time I was at Studio 54 with Debby Harry, and -- 

Saoirse Ronan - If there's anything they taught us back at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, other than that George Lucas paid millions to get his name onto the building, it's that period dramas are a death knell for any starlet's career. Yet clearly this lass is doing something right -- she's nabbed three Oscar nominations before the age of 25. It's a damn shame critics don't get any love at the Pulitzers, believe you me. 





Robert Pattinson -- Some time around 2012, we critics could no longer dismiss "Rpatz" as the pretty boy heartthrob from the The Twilight Zone (damn millennials and their remakes), WHICH they ruined by turning into a love triangle between a wizard, a Centaur, and a mannequin with only one facial expression. His work in Cosmopolis, Good Time, High Life, and The Lighthouse has firmly established him as a force to be reckoned with. I just wish his chiseled jaw would stop judging me from that Tiger Beat poster in Brenda the intern's cubicle. 





Lupita Nyong'o - Why do phenomenally talented women of color only win Oscars for movies about slavery, but Lupita Nyong'o can't even get a nomination for her unforgettable DUAL performance in Us? (See, even boomers can be woke!) I know the Academy has no love for horror films, but I haven't shit my Depends like that since Rosemary's Baby. 

Adam Driver - First this guy is just a softcore porn actor on HBO's 2 Broke Girls, and suddenly he's landing all these high-profile roles? It worked for Warren Beatty, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. His imposing nine-foot-tall figure and Roman nose have landed him plenty of work with auteurs like Jim Jarmusch and Noah Baumbach, although I suppose it doesn't hurt that he's got the refined nuance of a young Dustin Hoffman. The guy's clearly an indie snob, so he must only make the Star Wars movies to pay down his student loans. 





Florence Pugh - It's ABOUT TIME Amy March was given the breakout performance she deserved! I first remember reading Little Womenback in 1869 when it first came out, but until Florence Pugh's revelatory portrayal in Greta Gerwig's 2019 adaptation, every other Hollywood version had presented the youngest March sister as nothing more than a spoiled brat. Considering how all millennials ARE spoiled brats, it's only a testimony to her talent that Pugh can pull off playing someone who isn't. (I also heard she was good in Midsommar, but I didn't see it because of what the Harga do to people my age.)

Lakeith Stanfield - What in tarnation? You mean to tell me this kid played Snoop Doggy Dogg, that nice well-dressed fellow on Xanax in Get Out, one of those telemarketers who won't stop bothering me while I'm trying to watch Matlock, the sheriff they sent to investigate the death of my old pal Christopher Plummer in Knives Out, and a Times Square squeegee man in Uncut Gems? He may think he has the range of Al Pacino, but I gotta hand it to you -- no one else immerses himself so fully in his roles that you can't even recognize him. Lakeith Stanfield is the chameleon of his generation. 




Margot Robbie - Austria! Well, then, g'day, mate! Let's put another shrimp on the barbie! Hailing from a giant penal colony with the galaxy's highest per capita rate of pugnacious method actors, Margot Robbie wisely made her way to Hollywood before the dingo ate her baby. She then quickly proved herself to be something of a Faye Dunaway-Mia Farrow one-two sucker punch (just like those joeys!), nabbing two Oscar nominations before the age of 30. She SHOULD have been nominated for playing Sharon Tate in 2019, but the Academy threw a real boomerang at us by dropping that bombshell. Crikey! 

Timothee Chalamet - He looks like he's about 12, so I'm not sure if he belongs on this list, but my daughter thinks he's cute so I promised I'd put him on here. What's wrong with the state college down the road? So what if they don't have art history? Major in a marketable skill or go ask your mother. And turn that down! 

Jennifer Lawrence - "JLaw" started her career as a Fly Girl on In Living Color, then rose to fame playing Selena Gomez. Now she's one of the most bankable celebrities in the world. Not one to stay content by remaining a mere Hollywood A-lister, she went on to become a pop star and rule the Billboard charts. She also is married to New England Patriots tight end Aaron Rodriguez. 



.... plus one. Anton Yelchin - I gotta break character here, because this one still breaks my heart. Most will remember you in your criminally underwritten role as Chekov in the Star Trekreboots, but with your body of work from Alpha Dog, to Green Room, to Thoroughbreds, you may have been the best of them all. Rest in peace. 

Okay! It's 5:00, so that means time to crack open an Ensure and watch Murder She Wrote before bedtime. Be sure to check in next week for my Top 10 list of ways Greta Thunberg grinds my gears. 

-Eugene Kelly