“The Woodsman,” Walter, 2004
Bacon gave his most powerful performance with his portrayal of a recovering pedophile who just regained his freedom after serving a 12-year sentence. The film follows Bacon’s character as he adjusts to his new life and the struggles, temptations and hardships he lives through. Though he has played numerous complex characters, Walter was by far his best
performance out of any film.
“Death Sentence,” Nick Hume, 2007
In one of his most intense roles seen on the big screen, Bacon plays a father out for revenge after the man who murdered his son as part of a gang initiation ritual is released due to lack of evidence. The audience sees the guilt and deep desire for revenge eating away at Bacon’s character and views a never-before-seen performance from him.
“The Following,” Ryan Hardy, 2013
In his first starring role in a television series, Bacon plays an FBI agent who is haunted by a serial killer and his murderous followers. The show is written and directed well and most of the actors do an excellent job portraying their characters. Bacon excels as the dedicated agent battling personal demons such as alcoholism and being in love with the serial killer’s ex-wife.
“Sleepers,” Sean Nokes, 1996
In what may have come as a shock to many fans, Bacon broke the mold he had set with his previous roles as he portrayed a juvenile reform center guard who was responsible for physically and sexually tormenting the adolescent inmates. In a cast that included Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, Bacon stood out with his disturbing performance and possibly tainted many viewers’ perception of his normally squeaky clean image.
“X-Men: First Class,” Sebastian Shaw, 2011
It is hard pressed to find an A-list actor that has not succumbed to the ever-growing demand of super hero movies. Bacon finally joined that list as he portrayed the main antagonist, Sebastian Shaw, in “X-Men: First Class.” Shaw is an ex-Nazi scientist that is able to absorb energy to heal and maintain his youth. It was definitely a stretch for Bacon and unlike any character he played before.
“Stir of Echoes,” Tom Witzky, 1999
Released the same year as “The Sixth Sense” and “The Blair Witch Project,” “Stir of Echoes” was a paranormal, psychological thriller. In this film, Bacon plays the father of a boy that is able to communicate with a ghost who is later identified as a neighborhood girl that went missing years before. After being hypnotized, Bacon’s character begins to experience visions of what happened to the girl and the torment she endured during her death. Though it was highly underrated compared to similar films that year, Bacon’s performance stood out and should have commanded more fanfare.
“Footloose,” Ren McCormack, 1984
Though it was not his best performance, it is a role worth a mention because it is what he is most recognized for. When one hears the name “Kevin Bacon,” it is hard not to immediately hear the Kenny Loggins song and picture Bacon dance through the fields and streets of the small town that outlawed dancing. This is surely a role Bacon would probably like to forget, but it is nonetheless what he will be most remembered for.