1. Empire Of The Sun (1987)
Bale’s first major role came with Steven Spielberg sitting in the director’s chair. That must have been tough. Playing a young British teenager separated from his parents in Japan, Bale showcased an uncanny ability to carry a movie, and as a 14-year-old no less. Even when working around a strong cast – featuring All-Star curmudgeon John Malkovich – Bale was the best part of Empire. So good, in fact, that he earned the “Best Performance By A Juvenile Actor” award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.