‘Sherlock’ (2010 – 2017)
Colin Hutton / © BBC/Hartswood Filmas / Courtesy: Everett Collection
If you weren’t already familiar with Cumberbatch in 2010, then “Sherlock” certainly put him on the map. Ushering the famed Sherlock Holmes into the 21st century, Cumberbatch was at his wittiest and wisest in his Emmy-winning role in the British series. He’s at his best when sparring with Andrew Scott’s Moriarty or chided by Martin Freeman’s Watson.
‘Starter For 10’ (2006)
A cast of then-young up-and-comers, including James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, and Cumberbatch’s future “Star Trek Into Darkness” co-star Alice Eve, star in this nostalgia-driven romantic-dramedy about a university’s quiz team. In a supporting role, Cumberbatch proves he can be the butt of a joke as the uptight team captain.
‘The Imitation Game’ (2014)
Weinstein Company/courtesy Everett Collection
Cumberbatch earned his first Oscar nomination for his role as real-life mathematical genius Alan Turing in the biopic opposite Keira Knightley. The actor gives a voice to Turing, whose groundbreaking work in cracking the German Enigma Code during the Second World War, was virtually erased when his sexuality was exposed.
Get you a man who can do both: Cumberbatch plays both the Creature and Victor Frankenstein in the National Theatre’s filmed production of “Frankenstein”. Alternating roles with Jonny Lee Miller, Cumberbatch can effortlessly slip into either part. But if we’d have to pick the better performance, we give his take on the Creature the edge because it’s so different from anything else we’ve seen him do.
‘The Courier‘ (2020)
Liam Daniel / © Roadside Attractions / Courtesy Everett Collection
After proving he could excel at the spy genre in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”, the actor returns to the world of espionage with a thrilling performance. Based on a true story, 'The Courier' sees a moustache-sporting Cumberbatch ratchet up the tension in this Cold War spy thriller that is largely focused on the friendship between two men on opposite sides of a political divide.
‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ (2013)
Cumberbatch as a dragon? You bet! The actor got really into his motion-capture work for Peter Jackson’s fire-breathing dragon. Plus, we love a “Sherlock” reunion with Martin Freeman.
‘Parade’s End’ (2012)
Nick Briggs/©HBO/courtesy Everett Collection
A re-teaming with his “Starter For 10” co-star Rebecca Hall, miniseries “Parade’s End” has Cumberbatch as part of a captivating love triangle set during the lead up to the First World War. The series was a critical success, earning Cumberbatch an Emmy nomination for his role.
‘Doctor Strange’ (2016)
Walt Disney Studios/Everett Collection
As the strange and fantastic cape-loving Marvel superhero, Cumberbatch delivers in the entertaining origin story, bringing some levity to the MCU. We can’t wait to see him reprise the role in 2022’s “Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness”.
‘Patrick Melrose’ (2018)
Justin Downing / ©Showtime / Courtesy: Everett Collection
Cumberbatch is brilliant as the titular Patrick Melrose, a man battling the demons of addiction and trauma in 1980s New York. It’s the perfect film to showcase the actor’s darker side. The part landed him his sixth Emmy nomination.
‘The Child In Time’ (2017)
In a heartbreaking turn as a children’s book author whose life is turned upside down when his daughter goes missing, Cumberbatch will make you feel all the feels while watching this adaptation of the Ian McEwan novel.