Great acting is one of those things that's hard to describe. It's someone falling into a role that overtakes them. It's that feeling the audience gets when they're watching someone convey emotions and steep us in the world. 

So, who are the greatest actors over the last 20 years? Whose performances have made the 21st century sublime so far?

New York Times critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis got together to pick their top 25. This list covers the entire world, so there are names on here of people who are not mainstream in Hollywood but celebrated global acting. 

And honestly, this list is controversial for the names it leaves off. No Tom Hanks, no Amy Adams, no Bradley Cooper, or Meryl Streep. No Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt. No Octavia Spencer or Michelle Yeoh. 

Still, in their opening statement, they make sure that we know we are in a platinum age of acting, where there is an embarrassment of riches across the globe. As they put it, "Some of these performers are new to the scene; others have been around for decades. In making our choices, we have focused on this century and looked beyond Hollywood. And while there are certainly stars in the mix and even a smattering of Oscar winners, there are also character actors and chameleons, action heroes and art-house darlings."

If you want to know the justifications behind each actor pick, head over to The New York Times and read up on what they have to say. Now, check out the list and let us know what you think in the comments. 

Read The New York Times Controversial List of the Top 25 Actors of the 21st Century

25. Gael García Bernal

24. Sônia Braga

23. Mahershala Ali

22. Melissa McCarthy

21. Catherine Deneuve

20. Rob Morgan

19. Wes Studi

18. Willem Dafoe

17. Alfre Woodard

16. Kim Min-hee

15. Michael B. Jordan

14. Oscar Isaac

13. Tilda Swinton

12. Joaquin Phoenix

11. Julianne Moore

10. Saoirse Ronan

9. Viola Davis

8. Zhao Tao

7. Toni Servillo

6. Song Kang Ho

5. Nicole Kidman

4. Keanu Reeves

3. Daniel Day-Lewis

2. Isabelle Huppert

1. Denzel Washington

What do you think of the NYT's list? Who do you think deserves the #1 spot? Let us know down in the comments.