6. Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007)
None other than Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the finest actors of our generation, could have pulled this off. Daniel Plainview is an incredibly complex character; he is incredibly charming but also cold-heartedly ambitious. You want to trust him, but you know you absolutely shouldn’t. He only sees the worst in people and yet, somehow, you know there’s a heart in there. He is perhaps the most odious character on this list, and yet you can’t help but be drawn in as he becomes so corrupt by greed and power that he is driven to solitary madness. No other actor could have successfully achieved this. Day-Lewis’ performance compliments the wonderful writing and Paul Thomas Anderson’s directing, and they (nearly) match his.