Cillian Murphy
Credit: Cillian Murphy: Andrew MacPherson/Corbis Outline

Summer’s movie-star MVPs: Cillian Murphy

Age 29

Position Creepy Dr. Jonathan Crane in Batman Begins; creepier air traveler Jackson Rippner in Red Eye

Season highlights Murphy’s pretty. Too pretty. Evil pretty. And pretty evil, too. First, his Dr. Jonathan Crane (a.k.a. the Scarecrow) was a magnetically serpentine standout in Batman Begins — impressive, considering the supporting cast included names like Caine, Neeson, and Freeman. Then he put the villainy into overdrive for Wes Craven’s Red Eye, a thriller that required him to terrorize Rachel McAdams while strapped down in coach. Credit the face — its exaggerated beauty tends, ever so sensually, toward the demonic — but also the Zen delivery that goes with it. To find an analogue, you’d have to imagine (and this is a tough one) a gorgeous Robert Mitchum.

Batman Begins
  • Movie
  • 137 minutes