Four Fantastic Ensemble Casts – When Casting’s Done Right

Ensemble casts are a tricky thing to get right.  When you’re dealing with large casts, a danger is that someone may get lost in the crowd and not get noticed. There is also the chance of someone not performing as well as the others.

This is not the case with the four films we will look at below.

Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean's Eleven Ensemble

I remember watching this film and at the end just thinking “that looked like it was so much fun.” The cast’s chemistry is excellent throughout the film, particularly between George Clooney and Brad Pitt.

The way they convey a friendship is fantastic to watch. Sometimes it doesn’t even take dialogue, it can just be a simple look that the other one reads without a break.

While you might think the rest of the cast could just sit back and let Clooney and Pitt do the hard work, this isn’t true. The whole gang has a rapport which is hard to come by these days.

The remaining cast includes Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Eddie Jemison, Shabo Qin, Carl Reiner, Julia Roberts and Don Cheadle.



Inception Ensemble

The greatest achievement this cast pull off, is getting the audience to buy in to the story. This is no easy task considering you are talking about dreams within dreams. Leonardo Dicaprio is fantastic as the leader of the team, trying to find a way to get back home. The whole cast has their work cut out for them during the film and Christopher Nolan handles them all well.

Starring Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Ken Wantanabe, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, Tom Berenger and Dileep Rao. This is a slick cast who showed they had trust in each other and their director.

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan Ensemble

It would be easier to tell you who wasn’t in this film than run through the cast list. When Steven Spielberg took on Saving Private Ryan, he more than had his work cut out for him. Even though the film has a large cast, they do such a good job you become invested in each characters story. With this being a war movie, not everyone survives, which affects you much more as the actors are top-notch.

Tom Hanks is the man in charge of leading Tom Sizemore, Vin Diesel, Barry Pepper, Adam Goldberg, Giovanni Ribsi and Jeremy Davies on the hunt for Private Ryan (played by Matt Damon.)

To give you the scope of the cast, here are some others worth mentioning. Paul Giamatti, Dennis Farina, Ted Danson, Bryan Cranston and Nathan Fillion. I could have listed a lot more but if I’m honest, it would have taken forever.

The A-Team

The A-Team Ensemble

No, I’m not talking about the tv series (although that was a great cast.)

I mean the 2010 movie starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quinten ‘Rampage’ Jackson. This is another great example of a cast who look as though they are having the time of their lives. It can’t have been easy to step into these parts as they are such iconic characters you don’t want to let the fans down.

Luckily this isn’t the case and the team is spot on in their portrayal of the soldiers of fortune. My favourite is Sharlto Copley as Murdock. He is exactly the right amount of crazy to not be over the top. I also think Bradley Cooper was perfect as Face. I for one would love to a sequel to this film one day.

Also worth mentioning is Patrick Wilson as the shadowy Agent Lynch, who brings a lot of laughs and a great bad guy.

This list is by no means the be all and end all. This is just four of my favourites. When discussing with colleagues and friends there were some fantastic suggestions. It wasn’t only films mentioned either, there were some great tv shows included.

For example The Great Escape, Young Guns, Harry Potter, Italian Job ( both of them) and Sin City. TV shows which got a mention included Lost, Breaking Bad, Wet Hot American Summer and The Big Band Theory.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Is there a cast you think is perfect or do you disagree with any of the above choices? As always, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

That’s all for now and see you soon.




Lee Westney
Lee Westney
I am a 36 year old man child who has vey serious addiction to film/TV/comics and superheroes. I live in sunny Bristol with my wife who has just about come to terms with how big a nerd I am and my 2 kids. I love having a good old natter about all things geeky related so please feel free to get in touch with theories you may have or any bits of info. But!! Please no spoilers!