49. Diddy, Monster's Ball (2001)
In his turn of the century pursuit to master all disciplines known to man, Diddy proved an instantly successful character actor in the Oscar-winning Monster's Ball, where he played the death row inmate executed by Billy Bob Thornton's lead with impressive humanity and zero forced nobility. He exits the movie barely a half-hour in, but his impact is felt throughout -- the scene of him barely able to walk to his execution is maybe the most brutal moment of an impossibly bleak movie, a doomed man unable to mentally or physically process his imminent fate. -- A.U.
48. Art Garfunkel, Carnal Knowledge (1971)
In Carnal Knowledge’s brilliant opening, Sandy, played by Art Garfunkel, confesses to his friend Jonathan (Jack Nicholson), “I’ve never been able to talk to any girl.” Director Mike Nichols lets the dialogue run over the credits, rendering them disembodied voices against a black screen. They’re Amherst students in the ’40s, and what follows is a shrewd, formally challenging and bitterly satirical portrait of misogyny, stunted emotional growth, and impotence. Garfunkel brings tender cowardice to his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of a guileless loser whose central male friendship is as toxic as could be. During an early scene, at Jonathan’s urging, Sandy repeatedly tries to touch the breasts of his first girlfriend, Susan, played by Candice Bergen, while they’re kissing. She resists repeatedly, each time removing his hand before finally asking, exasperated, “How could it be any fun for you if you know I don’t want it?” His reply: “I didn’t say it was fun.” -- R.S.
47. Mandy Moore, Saved! (2004)
In the pantheon of turn-of-the-century teen pop queens, Mandy Moore was usually the sweetest, sometimes cloyingly so. She had moved away from that image by 2004, but she resurrected -- and amplified -- it in her turn as the goody-goody, Jesus-loving high schooler Hilary Faye in the movie Saved. Her character’s self-righteousness would be unbearable if it weren’t so hilarious: “I am filled with Christ’s love!” she shouts, hurling a Bible at the back of her co-star Jena Malone. The throw is almost hard enough to knock the memory of 2002’s schmaltzy A Walk to Remember out of people’s heads. -- C.W.
46. Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock (1957)
In his best movie role (which, admittedly, is not saying a ton), Presley is the living embodiment of rock and roll rebellion as ex-jailbird Vince Everett. Throughout, he oozes a dark sex appeal, and the performance of the title track with his former cellmates remains as exhilarating as ever more than 60 years later -- and serves as a precursor to the modern-day music video that has seldom been surpassed. -- M.N.