For most of his career Oscar nominee Liam Neeson did a remarkable job of shifting from prestige films like Schindler’s List, The Mission and Gangs of New York to edgy genre pictures like Darkman, Gun Shy and Batman Begins. Neeson, a tall, intimidating Irishman with a looming presence, knew his real strength was in those piercing eyes of his. They could emote pain and despair just as easily as they could switch to steely grit. Looking back at his filmography now, it’s surprising to see that it took until 2009’s Taken for studios to cash in on his leading man specialness. Takenbecame an unexpected hit, grossing $226 million globally on a modest budget of $25 million. And the formula of Taken was simple: position Neeson as a trusting family man and father who is put to the test when his daughter is kidnapped. Oh, and it’s also good to mention that Neeson’s character is a retired CIA agent who knows how to kick the shit out of anybody.