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Iconic - The Top 20 Male Performances of 2008

Like the gladiators of old, 2008 resembles a battle of formidable acting gods, especially when looking over the 20 choices presented below. Indeed, if anything, choosing a winner requires more of a leap of faith than any amount of critical skill - they all were that good.

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Doubt

Sister James (Amy Adams) embodies her historical moment, yearning to believe, adhering to tradition, and yet also inspired by a changing world.

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Shameful Exposure

A fiery Kate Winslet saves morality tale in 'The Reader' while a similarly powerful Meryl Streep can't do the same for the overly certain 'Doubt'.

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Nights in Rodanthe

In an alternative universe, Jean (Viola Davis) does have a story -- one that you'd rather be seeing as Nights in Rodanthe descends into mundane melodrama.

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Talk, Talk, Talk: December 2008

Just like the end of an inspiring speech that may or may not succeed in making its point, these final four weeks before 2009 tend to define or defeat the entire awards season purpose.

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The Architect

Anthony LaPaglia delivers a brilliantly understated performance as a man who has the ability to build, but not maintain, and the desire to reconstruct, but not renovate.

David Masciotra
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