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Often called this generation's Cary Grant, George Clooney showed he was more than just a dapper persona wrapped up in a pretty package when his first film, the Chuck Barris biopic "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," received positive critical notices despite failing to capture much of an audience. Luckily 2005's "Good Night, and Good Luck" fared better commercially, with the critically-acclaimed film going on to nab six Oscar nominations, including Best Director for Clooney. While some of that goodwill was burnt up upon the release of "Leatherheads," his critically and commercially unsuccessful attempt at a screwball comedy, last year's "The Ides of March" ranked as something of a rebound, netting Clooney another Oscar nod for Best Adapted Screenplay (alongside Beau Willimon and Grant Heslov) and managing to gross over six times its budget worldwide.
- Chris Eggertsen