What isn't there to love about handsome Javier Bardem?! The Spanish actor got his start as a child actor back in 1974 on an episode of the Spanish-language TV comedy "El pícaro." From there, Javier — who was born into a well-known family of actors that includes mother Pilar Bardem — quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the most recognizable faces on the big screen. He also happens to be married to one of our favorite Spanish actresses, the lovely and talented Penelope Cruz. On March 1, 2018, Javier turns 49. In honor of his birthday — and the release of his newest movie, "Thy Kingdom Come," which hits theaters on March 9 — Wonderwall.com is ranking all of his best movie roles from good to greatest. Keep reading to see where Javier's most infamous characters, like Captain Salazar and Anton Chigurh, landed on our list…
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No. 23: Blue Robot in "Automata"
In the 2014 sci-fi thriller "Automata," Javier Bardem voices the character Blue Robot, a self-aware robot that was created to help humanity survive a solar flare that killed off most of the world's population. The film stars Antonio Banderas (seen here) as a robotics insurance agent tasked with tracking down the person who's modifying the robots, allowing them to become independent. The film was widely panned by critics but we loved Javier's voice as the disobedient machine.
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No. 22: Rober in "Éxtasis"
Javier Bardem stars as Rober in the 1996 Spanish-language drama "Éxtasis." Rober and girlfriend Ona (Leire Berrocal, left) scheme to rob best friend Max's rich dad — with Max's help — who's never met his son. Rober pretends to be Max to get access to the house but is surprisingly welcomed by Max's father and given access to his wealth, which causes Rober to forget all about the planned theft — and his friends.
No. 21: Miguel Leon in "The Last Face"
In the 2017 war drama "The Last Face," Javier Bardem stars as Miguel Leon, a Spanish surgeon working with Doctors of the World in West Africa to provide medical aid to victims of the civil war. Miguel meets a beautiful doctor named Wren (Charlize Theron) who's struggling to understand how she can make a difference amidst so much tragedy and violence. As the two begin a passionate affair, they find strength in each other, but a secret in Miguel's past might tear them apart.
No. 20: Raul in "Jamón, jamón"
In 1994, Javier Bardem starred in the Spanish-language comedy "Jamón, jamón" as Raul, a wannabe actor and part-time underwear model hired to seduce Silvia (played by Penelope Cruz) by her lover's disapproving mother. The movie marked Penelope's big-screen debut and the first time she co-starred alongside Javier, whom she married in 2010.
No. 19: David de Paz in "Live Flesh"
In the 1997 romantic drama "Live Flesh," Javier Bardem plays David de Paz, a former cop who is paralyzed by a stray bullet while trying to break up a fight. When David falls in love with one of the witnesses to the crime, he has no idea it was her finger that pulled the trigger.
No. 18: Felix in "Collateral"
Javier Bardem co-stars in the 2004 crime thriller "Collateral" as Felix, a ruthless drug lord who hires a hitman named Vincent (Tom Cruise) to assassinate several of his targets. The high-octane thriller also starred Jamie Foxx as Max, an unfortunate cab driver who's forced to drive Vincent around for a night of murder.
No. 17: Santa in "Mondays in the Sun"
In the 2002 Spanish-language dramedy "Mondays in the Sun," Javier Bardem plays Santa, a shipbuilder who, along with his friends, is suddenly out of a job. While spending their newfound free time in their friend's bar, Santa also works to keep everyone motivated, even when their future looks bleak.
No. 16: Reinaldo Arenas in "Before Night Falls"
In the 2001 biographical drama "Before Night Falls," Javier Bardem stars as Reinaldo Arenas, a Cuban writer and nationalist who first supported Fidel Castro's regime before joining the rebellion. The movie also stars Johnny Depp (right) as Lieutenant Victor aka Bon Bon, a military officer who moonlights as a crossdresser and helps Reinaldo smuggle a manuscript out of prison.
No. 15: Agustín Rejas in "The Dancer Upstairs"
In the 2003 crime thriller "The Dancer Upstairs," Javier Bardem stars as Agustín Rejas, a South American police officer who struggles to balance his love for his family with his passion for tracking down a notorious guerrilla rebel. The movie marked actor John Malkovich's directorial debut and earned rave reviews from critics.
No. 14: Father Quintana in "To the Wonder"
In the 2012 romantic drama "To the Wonder," Javier Bardem stars as Father Quintana, a Spanish Catholic priest in Oklahoma who's undergoing a crisis of faith. The movie also co-stars Ben Affleck as Neil, a man who falls in love only to learn that passion isn't enough to sustain a relationship.
No. 13: Felix in "The Gunman"
"The Gunman" is a 2015 crime thriller starring Javier Bardem as Felix, a jealous former mercenary who betrays his friend, Jim Terrier (played by Sean Penn). In the film, Felix is secretly in love with Annie (played by Jasmine Trinca, right), the same woman Jim is enamored of. To get Annie all to himself, Felix manipulates a hit job that forces Jim to leave the country, but when Jim returns eight years later, Felix plots his assassination to ensure no one will take Annie away from him.
No. 12: Felipe in "Eat Pray Love"
Javier Bardem stars as the romantic foil, Felipe, in the 2010 biographical drama "Eat Pray Love." When writer Liz Gilbert (played by Julia Roberts) travels the world in search of her purpose, she ends up in Bali where she meets a handsome older man (Felipe) and falls madly in love.
No. 11: Brother Lorenzo in "Goya's Ghosts"
Javier Bardem stars as Brother Lorenzo in the 2007 historical drama "Goya's Ghosts." Lorenzo is a dark and troubled man who is brimming with lustful desire while hiding behind the traditions of the Catholic church. The movie also stars Stellan Skarsgard as the famous painter Francisco Goya and Natalie Portman as the beautiful Ines.
No. 10: Juan Antonio in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
In the 2008 romantic drama "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," Javier Bardem plays sexy painter Juan Antonio, who soothes his post-divorce broken heart by seducing two American women on vacation in Barcelona. The film co-stars Penelope Cruz as Maria Elena, Juan Antonio's emotionally unstable ex-wife. Penelope went on to win an Oscar for her performance and Javier won a Golden Globe. Interestingly, the two Spanish actors (who'd previously worked together) ended up falling in love while making the film and were married two years later.
No. 9: Reiner in "The Counselor"
Javier Bardem stars as nightclub owner and occasional drug trafficker Reiner in the 2013 crime thriller "The Counselor." Michael Fassbender plays the title role — a lawyer who gets caught up in the drug-trafficking business after meeting Reiner but quickly learns he's in over his head.
No. 8: Him in "mother!"
Javier Bardem stars as Him in the bizarre 2017 psychological thriller "mother!" Co-starring Jennifer Lawrence as Mother, the two are a seemingly happily married couple living alone in a renovated home. Their quiet, peaceful existence is interrupted when two strangers, Man and Woman (played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer), arrive uninvited.
No. 7: Captain Salazar in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales"
In Disney's 2017 adventure "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales," Javier Bardem stars as Captain Armando Salazar, a pirate hunter and leader of the Spanish Royal Navy who died along with his crew because of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Through the magic of the Devil's Triangle, Salazar and his men become the living dead, trapped and waiting to escape so they can seek revenge on Jack once and for all.
No. 6: Ramón Sampedro in "The Sea Inside"
In the emotional 2004 Spanish-language biography "The Sea Inside," Javier Bardem plays Ramón Sampedro, a handsome young man whose life is forever changed when a diving accident leaves him paralyzed from the neck down. The tear-inducing drama tells the story of how Ramón spent 30 years of his life as a quadriplegic who fought the Spanish courts for the right to end his life on his terms.
No. 5: Uxbal in "Biutiful"
In the 2010 drama "Biutiful," Javier Bardem stars as Uxbal, a man from Barcelona who works underground as a low-level human trafficker to help support his two children. Uxbal tries to treat his undocumented employees well but makes several mistakes that lead some to die and others to be deported. When he learns that he has advanced-stage prostate cancer, Uxbal (who can also commune with spirits) sees his own death and has to find a way to keep his children safe when he's gone. Javier earned his first Oscar nomination for this performance.
No. 4: Silva in "Skyfall"
Javier Bardem stars as Silva, a cyber-terrorist and former MI6 agent in the 2012 action thriller "Skyfall." After he's betrayed by his section chief in the Secret Intelligence Service (played by Judi Dench), Silva vows to get his revenge, but his plans are eventually thwarted when James Bond (played by Daniel Craig) returns — after being presumed dead — to stop him.
No. 3: Pablo Escobar in "Loving Pablo"
In the 2017 biographical crime drama "Loving Pablo," Javier Bardem plays the title character, known Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The film reunited Javier (who packed on extra pounds for the role) and wife Penelope Cruz, who stars as Virginia Vallejo, a Colombian journalist who embarks on a dangerous and passionate five-year love affair with Pablo.
No. 2: Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men"
Javier Bardem made every hair on our body stand up when he starred as Anton Chigurh in the 2007 crime thriller "No Country for Old Men." Anton is a deranged psychopath killer who flips a coin before each kill, letting fate decide who lives and who dies. The film earned Javier his second Academy Award nomination — and first Oscar win.
No. 1: Florentino Ariza in "Love in the Time of Cholera"
Javier Bardem shines as Florentino Ariza in the 2007 romantic drama "Love in the Time of Cholera," which is based on the book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In the film, Florentino is a hopeless romantic who's fallen in love with Fermina, a young woman who seems fated to never be his. In a flawed attempt to erase her from his mind, Florentino resorts to sleeping with any woman who'll have him but finds that his one true love is never far from his heart. While Javier didn't win any awards for the film, his powerful performance is a fan favorite and our worthy pick for the No. 1 spot.