It doesn’t take a detective like Sherlock Holmes to notice that Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be in everything these days. Of his two 2014 releases -- 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' and 'The Imitation Game' -- the latter has emerged as a major awards contender. Let’s revisit some of the actor's more notable roles.
Cumberbatch’s first major big-screen role was in this Oscar-nominated war drama, where he played a somewhat creepy guy who taunts a young girl with the line: “Bite my chocolate bar, little girl.” His villainous performance here would lead to a few more antagonistic roles in the future.
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)
A youthful and fresh-faced Cumberbatch plays Scarlett Johansson’s husband in this historical drama based on the novel by Phillipa Gregory, which also stars Natalie Portman.
Sherlock (2010 - Present)
This hugely successful BBC series is primarily responsible for introducing American audiences to the Cumberbatch Effect. Playing a modern-day version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth introduced the actor to his future ‘Hobbit’ costar, Martin Freeman.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
This slow-burn spy thriller, based on the John le Carre novel, features an incredible cast headlined by Gary Oldman -- with Cumberbatch playing one of many pawns in this Cold War spy game. The film was a big hit with UK audiences; it topped their box office for three weeks.
War Horse (2011)
In Spielberg’s war drama, based on the popular play, Cumberbatch plays Major Jamie Stewart, a stalwart military man struggling through the trenches of World War 1 – along with the titular horse and its various handlers.
The Fifth Estate (2012)
The year 2013 was a big one for the actor; he appeared in four major films --including this one, the story of controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. While 'Estate' failed to find much love at the box office, most critics agreed that Cumberbatch’s performance wasn’t to blame.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
“Khaaaaan!!!” After Cumberbatch and director J.J. Abrams outright lied about whether or not the actor was playing a redux of Trek’s most infamous villain, audiences saw the truth for themselves in this sci-fi sequel, which (once again) pit Captain Kirk and The Enterprise against Mr. Noonien Singh.
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Of the several 2013 films featuring the actor, this Oscar-winner is arguably the most notable. As a sympathetic clergyman and slave owner, Cumberbatch more than holds his own opposite costars Brad Pitt and Best Actor nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor.
August: Osage County (2013)
In this lively adaptation of the popular play, Cumberbatch joins Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep to tell the tale of one very dysfunctional Southern family. As Charles, the actor gets to stretch his considerable range as a man who falls in love with a woman who happens to be related to him.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The last two chapters in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy both get a strong dose of Cumberbatch. In 'Desolation,' the actor gives the malevolent dragon Smaug his frightening rasp. This year, in ‘The Battle of the Five Armies,’ Cumberbatch reprises the role of Smaug while also voicing the Necromancer – a dark sorcerer whose true identity is well known to ‘LOTR’ fans.
The Imitation Game (2014)
In this new heart-pounding thriller, Cumberbatch struggles to crack Nazi Germany’s Enigma code during World War II, with the help of the world’s first computer. If the awards buzz is any indication, ‘Game’ is poised to give his career a significant -- and deserved -- boost.