9) The Counselor
Given the general consensus, your take on The Counselor probably isn’t all that kind. But though the film’s not Ridley Scott’s finest moment (it’s hardly his worst, either; if nothing else it’s possibly his best film set in the present day), Fassbender emerges confidently victorious from it.
Playing a cliche of a hot-shot lawyer, one who one day suddenly decides to dip his toe into the murky waters of crime, Fassbender takes an underwritten lead and makes it into something valuable. Even when he’s bawling his eyes out over the likely murder of his fiancee, there’s something troublingly self-serving and reptilian about Fassbender in The Counselor.
The actor’s outward beauty is emphasized by aesthetic fetishist Scott, but Fassbender never allows you to escape from the off-putting hollowness within his unnamed counselor. If nothing else the film is proof that Fassbender can be compelling even when he’s playing someone despicable.