9. Ray Liotta -- ‘Goodfellas’
De Niro and Pesci were the bigger names, but Ray Liotta’s portrayal of the Lucchese family’s most notorious rat was the glue that held it all together. From his opening “I always wanted to be a gangster” monologue to the Steadicam tracking shot in the bowels of the Copacaba, Liotta projects the exhilaration of the gangster lifestyle. Henry Hill, the narrator, is the emotional center of the movie and he seduces the audience with the allure of power, then drags them through the hell of prison, addiction, abandonment, and betrayal. To prepare for his role, Liotta listened to tapes of FBI wiretaps of the real Henry Hill each day before filming and his zest for the part was obvious, in a layered performance that helped elevate “Goodfellas” into the greatest gangster film of all time.