Knighted in 1993, Hopkins is one of the finest and hardest working actors around. His role as Father Lucas Trevant in The Rite showcases his range, from stalwart to emotionally damaged to downright terrifying. The core of the movie is the journey of faith by Michael Kovack (played competently by Colin O'Donoghue), but the scenes with Hopkins are what elevate the film.
Hopkins has proven that he can play scary, as evidenced by his Academy Award winning performance as Hannibal Lector in The Silence of the Lambs. (He reprised the role in the sequel Hannibal and the prequel Red Dragon.) He can also bring grizzled gravitas to a role, as he's done in The Wolf Man as Sir John Talbot, Dracula as Abraham Van Helsing, The Mask of Zorro as Don Diego de la Vega, Legends of the Fall as Col. William Ludlow, and the upcoming Thor as Odin.
The first time I remember seeing Hopkins perform was in the under-rated television mini-series Peter and Paul. Since then, he's impressed me and countless others with nuanced and heartfelt performances in movies such as Howards End, Chaplin, The Remains of the Day, Shadowlands, The Road to Wellville, Surviving Picasso, Amistad, Titus, Hearts in Atlantis, Proof, and Meet Joe Black. Even in Nixon, a movie by Oliver Stone in which I thought he was completely miscast, he managed to somehow pull it off.
So far Hopkins has managed to give us an impressive body of work, from serious dramas to chilling thrillers to enjoyable popcorn flicks. I look forward to seeing what the remainder of his career has to offer us.