3. 'Three Kings'
Our man of the hour is the heart and soul of David O. Russell's masterful, bitter action comedy about a group of American soldiers trying to make off with Saddam Hussein's bullion during the first Gulf War. His Sgt. Troy Barlow is a dim, gung-ho patriot whose matter-of-fact acceptance of war is challenged when he finds himself tortured, wounded, and faced with the consequences of his country's actions. George Clooney might be the ostensible star of the film, but Wahlberg's journey is the one that mirrors the movie's emotional trajectory. It all begins with him killing a man in cold blood. By the end, we are totally gripped and moved by his ordeal as he learns to care about people he once thought of as barely human.