2012 was a great year for ensemble movies, what with films like Avengers Assemble and Expendables 2, and this year has seen its fair share, including Movie 43, Cloud Atlas and the forthcoming second Hunger Games film, Catching Fire. With more Avengers and Expendables films on the way next year, there’s something for everyone if you like your screen filled with famous faces.

But what about the other side of the coin? It’s much harder to sustain a film with one character, but when it works, it really works. Here’s a selection of some of the best films to use one person to tell their tale.

5. Buried

Even before you step foot in the cinema, the very concept of Buried strikes fear into the hearts of many. It takes claustrophobia to the next level with Ryan Reynolds as Paul Conroy, an American truck driver based in Iraq, who gets kidnapped and wakes up in a coffin underground.

The whole film takes place in the coffin as Conroy tries desperately to find a way out. Other actors make an appearance via a mobile phone left in the coffin with him, but for the most part, it’s just Conroy, on his own, trying to cope with the fact that there’s little room to manoeuvre and not much air left.

A departure from Reynolds’ usual comedy roles, many thought that he deserved an Oscar nomination for bringing depth to the character and taking a film that could have been boring and pedestrian and really taking it up a notch to present a chilling thriller without any big explosions or high speed car chases necessary to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

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  • Joel Sullivan

    Avengers Assemble? It’s called The Avengers, people