9 Times Andy Garcia Stole Whatever Movie He Was In
Since 1983, Andy Garcia has quietly - and sometimes not so quietly - been showing up on screen, giving brilliant performances and confounding our expectations. The Cuban American actor has been called upon to play a variety of ethnic backgrounds and nationalities, but the main takeaway from those roles is just how good he is in all of them. April 12 marks Garcia’s 63rd birthday, and to celebrate we’ve assembled a short list of movies where he’s stolen the show, whether in a supporting performance or as the well-deserved lead of his own project.
‘The Untouchables’ (1987)
Garcia made his breakthrough in Brian De Palma’s ensemble drama about Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and the brave men, including a scrappy young cop named Agent George Stone / Giuseppi Petri (Garcia), who teamed up with him to bring down Al Capone in Prohibition-era Chicago.
‘Black Rain’ (1989)
Garcia continued his meteoric rise by working with another acclaimed director, Ridley Scott, on this stylish thriller about two cops who run afoul of the Japanese Mafia after escorting a Yakuza member from New York to Osaka. Garcia’s Detective Charlie Vincent is the good cop to Michael Douglas’ bad, which makes his premature demise that much more heartbreaking.
‘The Godfather Part III’ (1990)
Garcia earned an Academy Award nomination for playing Vincent Mancini, Sonny Corleone’s illegitimate son, in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic finale to the “Godfather” saga. Just as volatile as his on screen father but decidedly more shrewd, it’s easy to see why Garcia’s character assumes the mantle of leadership within the Corleone family.
‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ (1994)
Garcia delivers a tender supporting performance as Michael Green, the wife of a school counselor (Meg Ryan) with a drinking problem. Garcia’s work not only supports Ryan’s but gives audiences a foundational throughline for this affecting rehabilitation story.
‘Steal Big Steal Little’ (1995)
In Andrew Davis’ 1995 comedy, Garcia plays not one but two roles, Ruben Partida Martinez and Robert Martin, estranged and wildly different twin brothers trying to extricate one another from their lives after Robert’s shady dealings ruin Ruben’s marriage and get him in trouble with a loan shark who does not take “I’m not my brother” for an answer.
‘Ocean’s Eleven’ (2001)
In a cast populated by wall-to-wall movie stars, Garcia plays Terry Benedict, a calculating, brilliant and unscrupulous casino owner who also happens to be dating Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) wife Tess (Julia Roberts). He would reprise the character two more times in the film’s sequels, proving he’s as unpredictable - and unforgettable - as part of the hero’s ensemble as opposing it.
In this perhaps unsurprisingly convoluted psychological thriller, Garcia plays Mike Delmarco, one of the key players in a series of murders committed around Jessica Shepard (Ashley Judd). You’ll never guess who the real murderer is, thanks in no small part to Garcia’s skillful misdirection.
Garcia threw himself into this passion project, playing the iconic Italian artist Amadeo Modigliani, whose career and life were full of surprising ups and downs as he attempted to forge a career as an artist in a time when his competition literally included the likes of Pablo Picasso.
‘The Mule’ (2018)
In this 2018 drama from Clint Eastwood, Garcia plays Laton, a Mexican cartel leader who takes an unexpected shine to Eastwood’s octogenarian drug runner. Defying expectations, Garcia turns what could have been a one-dimensional stereotype into a colorful addition to this retelling of a real-life story.