Best: 'Edward Scissorhands' (1990)
It was early in his career that Depp realized that his looks would be more interesting as an obstacle than a crutch — and Tim Burton was the perfect director to push him in the right direction. Essentially playing a sharper, Hot Topic version of Frankenstein's Monster, Depp transformed a character defined by his isolation into the kind of performance that would be embraced by everyone from Tiger Beat aficionados to arthouse snobs.
A dark mark on the cookie-cutter world of suburbia, Burton's lonely and disfigured hero is born into the world as a tragic figure. But Depp never allows Edward to know that; the actor's unblinking eyes reflecting the joy of every new experience. Clumsy except for when he's masterfully shearing the local shrubs (and poodles, and women), Edward is so gentle and uninterested in the violence suggested by his body that the vein-like scars streaking across his face soon begin to look like tears, and every time he cuts himself, you feel it too.