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9 Best Acting Monologues of all Time

Hello Sound Sodas! Today, we have ten of the best acting monologues. Shout out to "The Actors Academy" for compiling this list. If you want to reference these voice acting/voice-over scripts, with the real actor/actress, then you can watch the video (links provided below). Of course, this list is not the ultimate list, it is, however, our personal favourites! Comment below, with what acting monologues you would like us to include in our next post!

Let's get started with some of the ten best ever acting monologues of all time.

In this article

  • A Few Good Men (1992) - Jack Nicholson

  • Good Will Hunting ( - Robin Williams

  • Rocky V (1990) - Sylvester Stallone

  • Shawshank Redemption (1994) - Morgan Freeman

  • The Newsroom (Television Series) 2012-2014 - Jeff Daniels

  • Steve Jobs (2015) - Kate Winslet

  • Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - Will Smith and James Avery

  • Heat (1995) - Al Pacino

  • The Great Dictator (1940) - Charlie Chaplin

A Few Good Men (1992) - Jack Nicholson

"You can't handle the truth, son. We live in a world that has walls and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You, you, Lieutenant Weinberg. I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago. When you curse the Marines, you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know that Santiago's death, while tragic probably saved lives and my existence while grotesque and incomprehensible to you saves lives.

You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about it at parties, you want me on that wall? You need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time or the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questioned the manner in which I provided.

I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to." - Colonel Nathan R. Jessup played by Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men (1992)

Good Will Hunting (1997) - Robin Williams

"Thought about what you said to me the other day about my painting. I stayed up half the night thinking about it. Something occurred to me. I fell into a deep, peaceful sleep and haven't thought about you since. You know what occurred to me? You're just a kid. You don't have the faintest idea of what you're talking about. All right. You've never been out of Boston? If I asked you about art, you probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo knows a lot about him. Life's work, clinical aspirations, him and the Pope sexual orientation, the whole works, right?

I bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at the beautiful ceiling scene. I ask you about women cover, give me a silvercity of your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. Can I ask you about why you probably throw Shakespeare at me right 'once into the breach, dear friends', but you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap and watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help ask you about love. Probably called me a sonnet.

You've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Knowing someone that got level you with her eyes feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you, could rescue you from the depths of hell and you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel. To have that love for her, be there forever through anything, through cancer and you would know about sleep and sitting up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand because the doctors could see in your eyes that the terms visiting hours don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much.

I look at you. I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. It's your genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you, but you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mind. You rip my fucking life apart. You don't often. Right. Do you think, I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I did Oliver Twist. Does that encapsulate you personally? I don't give a shit about all that because you know what? I can't learn anything from you. I can't read in some fucking book unless you want to talk about you, who you, are and I'm fascinated. I mean you. But, you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move chief." - Dr. Sean Maguire played by Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting (1997)

Rocky V (1990) - Sylvester Stallone

“You ain’t gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. (He gestures to the palm of his hand). I’d hold you up to say to your mother, ‘This kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.’ And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watchin’ you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started lookin’ for something to blame, like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth! But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life.” - Rocky Balboa played by Sylvester Stallone in Rocky V (1990)

Shawshank Redemption (1994) - Morgan Freeman

"Rehabilitated? Well, now, let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea what that means. I know what you think it means, sonny. To me, it’s just a made up word. A politician’s word, sonny. Young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did? There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here. Because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then. A young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try to talk some sense to him. Tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old man’s all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? That’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because, to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit." - Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding played by Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Depemption (1994)

The Newsroom (Television Series) 2012-2014 - Jeff Daniels

Ok, this one is technically from a television series, but we think you won't mind!

"Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?

It’s not the greatest country in the world. That’s my answer… [turns to a panelist] Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he gets to hit you with it anytime he wants. It doesn’t cost money, it costs votes. It costs airtime and column inches. You know why people don’t like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always? [turns to another panelist] And with a straight face, you’re gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom?

Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom. The UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom! So, 207 sovereign states in the world, like 180 of them have freedom. [turns to the student who asked the question] And yeah, you… sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there’s some things you should know. One of them is: there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world.

We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20-year-old college student, but you, nonetheless, are, without a doubt, a member of the worst period generation period ever period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about! Yosemite?!


It sure used to be… We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reason. We passed laws, struck down laws, for moral reason. We waged wars on poverty, not on poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were and we never beat our chest. We built great, big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases and we cultivated the world’s greatest artists AND the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men.

We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it. It didn’t make us feel inferior. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easy. We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we were informed… by great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore.” - Aaron Sorkin played by Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom (2012 - 2014)

Steve Jobs (2015) - Kate Winslet

"[has tears in her eyes] What's been wrong with me for nineteen years. I have been a witness, and I tell you I've been complicit. I love you, Steve. You know how much. I love that you don't care how much money a person makes; you care what they make. But what you make isn't supposed to be the best part of you. When you're a father... that's what's supposed to be the best part of you, and it's caused me two decades of agony. Steve... that it is for you... the worst. It's a little thing... it's a very small thing. Fix it. Fix it now or you can contact me at my new job working anywhere I want. - Joanna Hoffman played by Kate Winstlet in Steve Jobs (2015)

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - Will Smith and James Avery

"Philip Banks : [after Lou cancels his trip with Will and leaves] I'm sorry, Will. William 'Will' Smith : You know what? Actually, this works out better for me, you know. The slimmies of summer come to class wearing next to nothing, you know what I'm saying... Philip Banks : Will, it's all right to be angry. William 'Will' Smith : Hey, why should I be mad? At least he said goodbye this time. I just wish I hadn't wasted my money buying this stupid present. [takes out a small statue of a father sitting with his son on his lap] Philip Banks : I'm sorry. You know, if there was something that l... William 'Will' Smith : You know what, you ain't got to do nothing, Uncle Phil. Ain't like I'm still five years old, you know. Ain't like I'ma be sitting up every night asking my mom, "When's Daddy coming home?", you know. Who needs him? Hey, he wasn't there to teach me how to shoot my first basket, but I learned, didn't I? And I got pretty damn good at it too, didn't I, Uncle Phil? Philip Banks : Yeah, you did. William 'Will' Smith : Got through my first date without him, right? I learned how to drive, I learned how to shave, I learned how to fight without him. I had *fourteen* great birthdays without him. He never even sent me a damn card! [turns toward the front door] William 'Will' Smith : [shouts] To hell with him! [long pause as Will struggles to regain his composure] William 'Will' Smith : I ain't need him then and I don't need him now. Philip Banks : Will... William 'Will' Smith : No, you know what, Uncle Phil? I'ma get through college without him, I'ma get a great job without him, I'ma marry me a beautiful honey, and I'ma have me a whole bunch of kids. I'll be a better father than he ever was, and I sure as hell don't need him for that, 'cause ain't a damn thing he could ever teach me about how to love my kids!" - Will Smith and Philip Bank played by Will Smith and James Avery in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Heat (1995) - Al Pacino

"No, we're sitting here. You and I are like a couple of regular fellows. You do what you do. I think what I got to do and now that we've been face to face, if I'm mad, I gotta put you away. I won't like it. But I'll tell you if it's between you and some poor bastard who's wife you're going to turn into a widow, whether you are going down," - Vincent Hanna played by al Pacino in Heat (1995).

The Great Dictator (1940) - Charlie Chaplin

"I'm sorry. I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible. Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings. I like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another and this world, there's room for everyone and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way greed has poisoned men. Songs has barricaded the world with hate. Has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed? We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in machinery that gives abundance, has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness, hard, and unkind.

We think too much and feel too little more than machinery. We need humanity more than cleverness. We need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life would be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of a soul. Even now, my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and children, victims of a system that makes them in torture and in prison. Innocent people. Those who are going to hear me, I say do not despair and misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass and dictators day and the power they took from the people we return to the people and so long as men die, Liberty will never perish.

Soldiers don't give yourselves to brutes. Men who despise you and slave you who regiment your lives. Tell you what to do, what to think of what the few who drill you tire to treat you like cattle usually was cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these next Roman wishy men with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not [inaudible]. You are man. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate only the unloved Tate, the unloved and the unnatural soldiers don't fight for slavery. Fight for Liberty in the 17th chapter of Saint Luke, it is written, the kingdom of God is within man. Not one man, not a group of men, but in all men in you. You, the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You, the people have the power to make this life free and beautiful to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then in the name of democracy, let us choose that path. There's this whole unite and I just fight for a new world, a decent world. But we'll give men a chance to work, but we'll give you the future and old age security by the promise of these things. Brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill that promise. They never will dictate us free themselves, but they enslave the people now and it does fight to fulfill that promise. They just fight to free the world to do away with national barriers to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. I just fight for a world of reason. A world where science and progress will lead to omens, happiness. So just in the name of democracy, let us all unite" - Hynkel played by Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator (1940).

So, did you enjoy this collection of free acting and voice-acting monologues? Shout out to The Actors Academy, who collated this excellent list! If you'd like to follow live, with the original actors and actresses, then watch the compilation here.

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