TIME photo essay

Great Performances

A king and a terrorist. A tattooed hacker and a crazy mama. They may lose an arm or a spouse, become a billionaire or a vigilante, but the actors we celebrate here are all sorcerers who, by pouring self into story, create indelible characters worth admiring or reviling — which is always worth treasuring. —Richard Corliss and Mary Pols

Portraits of Hollywood’s top stars, photographed by Peter Hapak for TIME

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