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Top 10 Sam Neill movies of all time

by John Paul
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75-years-old Sam Neill made his feature debut in Landfall in 1975. While still a youngster, Neill, and his family emigrated to New Zealand from Ireland. Neill is well recognized as a top name in the international acting industry. He has acted in films directed by a wide variety of acclaimed filmmakers from different countries.

Even though modern audiences recognize Neill most for his role in the dino-infested franchise, his career was much more fruitful than is commonly believed. Neill has worked on films ranging from low-budget indies to huge studio productions. To be sure, his film career is packed with critically acclaimed films that have helped him earn a name for himself among the industry’s elite. All in all, during his career, he has given many hit movies to the industry and the audience. The 10 bests among them are listed below:

How to Make Jurassic Park Work Again – The Kamloops Film Society

Image Courtesy: The Kamloops Film Society

  1. Jurassic Park

Release year: 1993

Genre: Adventure, Action, Sci-fi

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Richard Attenborough

Available on: HBO Max, DIRECTV

Steven Spielberg’s epic science fiction revolutionized the genre of large-scale action pictures. It tells the cautionary tale of a genetic scientist who intends to bring dinosaurs back from extinction. So naturally, chaos ensues when the park’s electricity goes out. Jurassic Park is a big-budget action movie classic thanks to its groundbreaking visual effects, well-paced action sequences, and noteworthy ensemble (including Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum).

Sam Neill plays Dr. Alan Grant, one of a select group of professionals to give an early look at Dr. John Hammond’s proposed amusement park.

The Piano Is a Sam Neill Thirst Trap

Image Courtesy: Decider

  1. The Piano

Release year: 1993

Genre: Drama

Director: Jane Campion

Cast: Sam Neill along with Holly Hunter, Kerry Walker, Genevieve Lemon, Harvey Keitel, and Sam Bei Kkm Anna Paquin

Available on: DIRECTV

Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) is a skilled Scottish pianist who communicates via music. Her father sells her to Geroge Baines, with whom she develops a hidden love affair. George Baines (Harvey Keitel) is a frontiersman who has adopted many Maori traditions.

Neill moved back to his native New Zealand to star in this period drama directed by Jane Campion to take part in the story of an illicit love affair in the late 19th century. Neill is fantastic as Alisdair, Ada’s icy husband, a character that is essentially the antagonist.

Sam Neill on 'Hunt For the Wilderpeople' and Taika Waititi

Image Courtesy: Screencrush

  1. Hunt for the Wilder People

Release year: 2016

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Comedy

Director: Taiki Waititi

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata, and Rhys Darby,

Available on: Netflix

Taika Waititi, a New Zealand filmmaker, has created a comedy masterpiece in Hunt for the Wilderpeople. The story follows a young orphan who experiences life with an unusual foster family. It is based on Barry Crump’s novel Wild Pork and Watercress.

Julian Dennison’s Ricky is ward of Neill’s Hec Faulkner. When trouble arises, the two have no choice but to go to the woods in an attempt to elude their pursuers.

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Image Courtesy: IMDb

  1. The Hunt for Red October

Release year: 1990

Genre: Horror, Action

Director: John McTiernan

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin

Available on: Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube

An adaptation of Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name, The Hunt for Red October, was one of the year’s highest-grossing titles in theatres. For the first time, Alec Baldwin portrays Clancy’s iconic character, Jack Ryan, in this film.

The film is about a rogue Soviet naval captain who seeks to desert the United States during the height of the Cold War. Neill and Sean Connery co-star as the namesake captains of their Soviet submarine.

Possession (1981) - IMDb

Image Courtesy: IMDb

  1. Possession

Release year: 1981

Genre: Drama, Psychological Thriller

Director: Andrzej Zulawski

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Isabelle Adjani

Available on: Metrograph

In the 1981 horror film Possession, Sam Neill played Mark, an international agent who returns from a mission in West Berlin. At home, though, his wife Anna has already requested a divorce. Soon after they split up, she starts acting quite strangely, causing him to fear for their son’s well-being.

Based on a horrific event that took place without Mark around to witness it, a chain of events unfolds that demonstrates the presence of the supernatural. Isabelle Adjani earned the award for Best Actress at Cannes for her portrayal in this film, which has since become a cult classic.

The Dish - Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film

Image Courtesy: Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film


  1. The Dish

Release year: 2000

Genre: Comedy, History

Director: Rob Stich

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Kevin Harrington, Patrick Warburton, and Tom Long

Available on: Amazon Instant Video

In The Dish, an Australian comedy set in 1969, we learn about the part played by the Parkes Observatory in the worldwide transmission of Apollo 11’s historic first steps on the Moon. NASA’s reliance on Australian personnel at the site is exemplified by the telescope in New South Wales, which enabled the first-ever television broadcast.

The film’s plot and events are based on real life, but the characters are made up. Neill plays Cliff Buxton, the Park Observatory’s Pipe Smoking dishmaster.

Interview with Sam Neill; talking Sweet Country - HeyUGuys

Image Courtesy: HeyUGuys

  1. Sweet Country

Release year: 2017

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Crime

Director: Warwick Thornton

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Hamilton Morris, Ewen Leslie, and Shanika Cole

Available on: Prime Video

Sweet Country was a brutal and harsh Australian western in 1929. The story takes place in the desert of the Northern Territory, where Aboriginal Australians and European settlers are at odds over territory.

Neill portrays Fred Smith, a European colonizer who employs Aborigines as farmers and preachers. The film offers substantial social and political commentary through in-depth analyses of its characters.

A Cry in the Dark (1988) - IMDb

Image Courtesy: IMDb

  1. A Cry in the Dark

Release year: 1988

Genre: Biography, Drama

Director: Fred Schepisi

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Dale Reeves and Meryl Streep

Available on: The Criterion Channel.

In 1980, a New Zealand couple named Lindy and Michael Chamberlain claimed their young daughter had been abducted from a campsite by a dingo, or wild Australian dog. This video is a dramatized account of their ordeal. The couple, whose claims were investigated by the media, is portrayed by Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.

The Chamberlains were tried for the murder of their daughter and had to try to prove their innocence in front of a skeptical audience. Streep’s work was recognized with an Oscar nod.

Sam Neill Leads a Kind, Safe Remake of Icelandic Drama

Image Courtesy: The Film Stage

  1. Rams

Release year: 2020

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Director: Jeremy Sims

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Michael Caton and Wayne Blair

Available on: Hulu, Kanopy, and Hoopla.

In 2020, Sam Neill starred in the drama-comedy Rams. Two estranged brothers are at odds in Western Australia. Colin (Neill) and his brother Les (Michael Caton) both tend to their own herds of sheep descended from the family’s best flock.

The brothers must join forces when one of their rams contracts a potentially fatal sickness. The local authorities order all of their sheep to be slaughtered. This film is an adaptation of a 2015 Icelandic film. It earned Neill a Best Actor nomination at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.

Little Fish (2005) - IMDb

Image Courtesy: IMDb

  1. Little Fish

Release year: 2020

Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-fi

Director: Chad Hartigan

Cast: Sam Neill, along with Olivia Cooke and Jack O’Connell

Available on: Peacock

Cate Blanchett plays a recovering heroin addict trying to save enough money to open her own video game store in Little Fish, a drama set in Australia. Her character, Tracey, is in financial straits when her ex-boyfriend Jonny (Dustin Nguyen) returns to town and persuades her to participate in the drug trade.

Hugo Weaving stars as Tracey’s abusive stepfather, a heroin addict. Brad “The Jockey” Thompson (Sam Neill) is a notorious drug lord in Sydney.



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