5. 'The Fighter'
Wahlberg gives one of his greatest performances in David O. Russell's boxing drama as Micky Ward, the true-life has-been who got an unlikely chance at a light welterweight title. Here, he finds an ideal counterpart in Christian Bale, who won an Oscar for his strung-out turn as Mickey's crack-addict brother and trainer Dicky. As a result, Wahlberg's gentle performance as the retiring, fearful palooka speaks to a lifetime of living in his flamboyant brother's shadow. It's touching to watch him as he tries to shake off his family's toxic influence while also remaining loyal to his roots. This is currently the high point of Wahlberg's grand pantheon of working-class achievers – and frankly, it's hard to think that, categorically, he'll ever top his turn.