The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars: The Men

Image for The 100 Sexiest Movie Stars: The Men

Want to know who made the top twenty of Hollywood's sexiest ladies and gents? We reveal the crème de la crème of our list here. Or check out how the gals fared with our countdown of the top 50 sexiest female stars.

50. Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell in Total Recall

There's something wounded and haunted about most of Colin Farrell's characters. Even if they're outwardly cheeky and confident, there's a depth and a dark side that's never far away, giving all his characters a little something extra. Bonus points too for those big soulful eyes and expressive eyebrows.

SEXIEST ROLE: In his recent films, we think his Douglas Quaid in Total Recall might be a good shout (film quality aside). Further back, we've never forgotten Danny's sharp suits in Minority Report. STROKE OF CHARM: He discussed naked mud wrestling and being attacked by nether-regions on Conan.

49. Nicolaj Coster-Waldau

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones Thank goodness for Game Of Thrones. If not for HBO's fantasy behemoth we might never have learned about Coster-Waldau, who's overcome the fact that his character is incestuous and (latterly) one-handed to become one of the show's breakout stars. He's built on that with Mama and Headhunters, and now seems poised for Hollywood domination. Bring it on, frankly.

SEXIEST ROLE: On the big screen it's Headhunters, where his extreme handsomeness and great suits drive Aksel Hennie's Roger Brown out of his mind with jealousy. STROKE OF CHARM: On what his sisters think of his role as Jaime Lannister.

48. Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington in Book of Eli

Despite being a two-time Oscar winner and leading man for over 20 years, Denzel Washington isn't really the Hollywood type. He – like the characters he often excels in – is more the down-to-Earth, stay-at-home type, and it's that steadiness of purpose and good sense that makes him all the more awesome.

SEXIEST ROLE: Lt. Commander Ron Hunter in Crimson Tide. We love a man in uniform. STROKE OF CHARM: Initially amusing and then inspiring speech at the University of Pennsylvania.

47. Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo in Now You See Me

Poor Mark Ruffalo is the lowest-placed Avenger (unless you count his alter-ego Hulk, who didn't make the cut) but we doubt he's too upset. The loveably crumpled, environmentally aware and thoroughly down-to-earth star has far bigger fish to fry, between campaigning to outlaw fracking and returning to Avengers 2 as Bruce Banner once more.

SEXIEST ROLE: He's wildly loveable in 13 Going On 30, and befuddled but brilliant in this summer's Now You See Me. STROKE OF CHARM: His reaction to the "Science Bros" meme which pairs Banner and Tony Stark in a (possibly sexual) relationship.

46. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in Oblivion

As much as people like to gossip about his personal life and beliefs, let's get one thing clear: Tom Cruise is cool. He's an insanely huge mega-star, a thrill-seeking daredevil who lives to climb high things and race fast things and, by all accounts, a caring and charismatic guy who goes out of his way to be nice to fans.

SEXIEST ROLE: Mission: Impossible's Ethan Hunt, who stays impossibly agile even after 20 years in the spy game, but an honourable mention to Stacee Jaxx and his assless chaps. STROKE OF CHARM: Here he is, about to get wet.

45. Daniel Radcliffe

Daniel Radcliffe in Horns

As the star of one of the biggest franchises ever, you'd forgive Daniel Radcliffe for being at least a tiny bit of a diva. And yet he's one of the nicest, most down-to-Earth men in show business, hard-working and apparently near egoless. Now that Potter's behind him and he's proven himself onstage on and with The Woman In Black, we look forward to seeing what he does next.

SEXIEST ROLE: We suspect it's going to be Horns, but since that isn't out yet, we're going to have to choose The Woman In Black because suggesting Harry Potter feels wrong. STROKE OF CHARM: He can sing The Elements.

44. Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings

He's like a one-man United Nations. As well as speaking about eleventy billion languages, Mortensen has made films all over the world and unites the film industries of Spain, the US and Middle-earth. He also writes poetry and paints – ladies?

SEXIEST ROLE: It's tempting to just say Aragorn, but let's mix it up and suggest A History Of Violence's Tom Stall. STROKE OF CHARM: The story of his last day on The Lord Of The Rings is kind of adorable.

43. Colin Firth

Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

If self-deprecation is an artform, Colin Firth is its Michelangelo. One of the great joys of seeing him win an Oscar for his fantastic turn in The King's Speech was watching Firth's outrageously humble and amusing speeches at a variety of awards shows. But the sad fact is, we don't believe a word of them. He's really that great.

SEXIEST ROLE: It is, and forever will be, TV's Mr Darcy. We pause here for a moment to pay tribute to that wet shirt. STROKE OF CHARM: That Oscar acceptance speech.

42. James Franco

James Franco in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

He's a poet, a student, a director, a comedian, an artist and generally the busiest man in Hollywood. It's hard to remember the days when James Franco was just a teen heartthrob type; now he's turning his hand to everything. Just don't ask him to host the Oscars, and you should be fine.

SEXIEST ROLE: Springbreakers – JUST KIDDING. Try Will in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes: he's handsome, he's smart and he has chimps in his house! STROKE OF CHARM: He's Between Two Ferns!

41. Jude Law

Jude Law in as Watson in Sherlock Holmes

As Jude Law ages (slightly) his handsomeness levels have shifted from blinding to merely overwhelming, and it's only helping him tackle more interesting roles and have a bit more fun in life. We can also tell you, based on his visit to Empire for a webchat earlier this year, that he smells absolutely great.

SEXIEST ROLE: From his recent stuff, it has to be John Watson in Sherlock Holmes – for the magnificent moustache alone. STROKE OF CHARM: Here he is, reading the lyrics to Poker Face.

40. Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman in Sense & Sensibility World-weariness, a biting wit and a withering way with sarcasm can, it turns out, be crazy hot. Alan Rickman remains a perennial favourite in these votes (note that he is the second highest-placed Potter alum, behind only Pattinson) and that's because he's a classy gent.

SEXIEST ROLE: If you like Nice Alan, Truly Madly Deeply. If you prefer Manic Alan, try Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. Or for Classy Evil Alan, it has to be Die Hard. STROKE OF CHARM: Here he is, singing in French.

39. Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles in Supernatural

Technically, he's a film star because of My Bloody Valentine and the like, but let's be real: Ackles is here because Supernatural's Dean Winchester is one of the most compellingly complicated and searingly hot characters ever to grace a screen big or small. His best friend is an angel and he drives a cool car, but that's just a bonus.

SEXIEST ROLE: Dean Winchester, a monster hunter so hot he doesn't really need the lighter to salt-and-burn his prey. STROKE OF CHARM: Eye Of The Tiger. This man has no shame.

38. Martin Freeman

Martin Freeman in Sherlock

There's a facebook group which suggests that Martin Freeman is made of “jam, kittens and rage”. That seems about right: he's simultaneously intensely likeable and a bit cuddly while also having hidden, dark depths. It makes him the perfect foil for Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes, but also the ideal Bilbo and, increasingly, a sex symbol in his own right.

SEXIEST ROLE: Tim from The Office, on the small screen, or John from Love Actually on the big, what with him being mostly naked and on a porn set. STROKE OF CHARM: He was a delight in our Hobbit podcast interview.

37. Aidan Turner

Aidan Turner in Being Human

The young, hot dwarf in The Hobbit's company has played just about every supernatural beastie going, up to and including a Romantic poet. And no wonder: he's far too handsome to be an honest-to-goodness human being. There must have been some sort of mistake.

SEXIEST ROLE: Probably Mitchell in Being Human, with an honourable mention for Kili in The Hobbit and a nod of acknowledgement to The Mortal Instruments' one redeeming feature, Turner's Luke Garroway. So that's a vampire, a dwarf and a werewolf then. STROKE OF CHARM: Here's a video where he apparently looks like an otter.

36. Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man

Witty, profoundly self-deprecating, genuinely funny and a little bit of a geek – what's not to love about Andrew Garfield? The Social Network saw him break through in Hollywood, but it was his turn as a simultaneously cocky-yet-unsure Spider-Man and his sizzling chemistry with Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy that cemented his appeal.

SEXIEST ROLE: We're still not over his role in Never Let Me Go, but that's too sad to be sexy so let's say The Social Network, for the endless nice suits. STROKE OF CHARM: Dancing for charity.

35. Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain

Hollywood born and bred, Gyllenhaal had Paul Newman to teach him to drive and only got cooler from there. With those supernaturally blue eyes, the body of an action hero and the sensibilities of a '70s character actor, he's only getting more interesting as he gets older.

SEXIEST ROLE: The doomed love affair in Brokeback Mountain sees Gyllenhaal at his most heartbreaking, so we have to go for that. STROKE OF CHARM: If you can find a video that works, we recommend googling "Jake Gyllenhaal SNL And I Am Telling You". Otherwise, consider this story of his 30th birthday.

34. Karl Urban

Karl Urban as Bones in Star Trek

He first thundered onto the consciousness of the world outside New Zealand as Eomer in The Lord Of The Rings, looking all heroic and just a little bit rough. Lately he's been taking over sci-fi, with Dredd finally giving 2000 AD's finest the film he deserved and Star Trek seeing Urban prove he's the real McCoy as Kirk's conscience. If there's a third film, please ensure he gets more to do.

SEXIEST ROLE: We're calling it for Bones. Dredd never takes his hat off and Eomer needs conditioner STROKE OF CHARM: Bradley Cooper may speak good French, but Karl Urban speaks German.

33. George Clooney

George Clooney in Dusk Till Dawn

When Clooney won his Supporting Actor Oscar for Syriana, Jon Stewart quipped, “That's the kind of thing that could get a man laid. How much more do you need?!” Well-dressed, supremely talented in acting, writing and directing, suave, funny and socially conscious, he's basically a walking rebuke to every other man alive.

SEXIEST ROLE: Fantastic Mr. Fox. What? He's adorable. STROKE OF CHARM: This interview.

32. Lee Pace

Lee Pace in The Fall

Pace is maybe the least famous person on this list, despite being a delight in Pushing Daisies and stealing scenes as Garrett in the Twilight finale (admittedly, not that hard when you've got good hair and the Cullens are stuck with those wigs). Now he's in The Hobbit, expect him to go stellar pretty darn fast – if, that is, he can get past his own blond fright wig.

SEXIEST ROLE: There's the piano player in Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day, the wounded stuntman in The Fall or the aforementioned veggie vampire; take your pick. Just, please, not Fernando Wood from Lincoln. STROKE OF CHARM: All this, and he can sing.

31. Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby This summer saw Leonardo DiCaprio play the gilded, gorgeous Jay Gatsby to wide acclaim, and on some levels it seemed like he was playing himself: well-dressed, rich, gorgeous, surrounded by beautiful women. But DiCaprio's more talented than Gatsby, more moral (witness his environmental work) and less self-destructive, thank goodness.

SEXIEST ROLE: For some, it will always be ‘90s Leo, in Titanic and Romeo + Juliet. But right now it's probably Gatsby, for the impeccable weekend attire and slicked hair. STROKE OF CHARM: Anyone noticed just how many memes DiCaprio has inspired? The "strutting" one is probably the funniest.

30. Alexander Skarsgard

Alexander Skarsgard in The East

Poor Sweden. A glut of smart, complex thrillers had finally convinced us that maybe the country wasn't just full of tall, blond sex-objects, and then Alexander Skarsgard hit screens in True Blood and the entire nation was once again reduced to a shallow, sexy stereotype.

SEXIEST ROLE: In films, he's adorable in What Maisie Knew as stepfather to a small girl, but there's just no getting past Eric the Vampire in True Blood, slinking about Louisiana like he owns it. STROKE OF CHARM: Here he is whipping up the crowd for his team at a Swedish football match.

29. Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor in Down With Love

That grin, so infectious that the CDC should probably take a look, is at the heart of McGregor's appeal. There's a fair argument, in fact, that if he'd smiled more in the Star Wars prequels we could have overlooked the whole Jar Jar thing. In any case, the Scot's perennial appeal shows little sign of fading, and his acting's only getting better – witness The Impossible for proof.

SEXIEST ROLE: So many profoundly wrong possible answers here: the junkie, the Vatican priest, the robot. Let's keep it clean and suggest man's man, ladies man and man-about-town Catcher Block in Down With Love. STROKE OF CHARM: This anecdote about Revenge Of The Sith, for "Aunt Peru" if nothing else.

28. Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom as Legolas

The once and future Legolas has taken a break from big-screen leading roles in the last couple of years – but clearly he's still very much in your hearts. Perhaps it's his daredevil ways, which have seen him break nearly as many bones as Jackie Chan. Or maybe it's his Errol Flynn-like fighting style, or his ability to swing both lustrous locks and sword with equal élan. It's probably just his perfect looks though.

SEXIEST ROLE: A tough call, but let's go for Legolas, because if he can manage sex appeal with that hair, he's got to be hot indeed. STROKE OF CHARM: They're taking the Hobbits to Isengard, apparently.

27. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Inception Arguably the coolest person on this list, Gordon-Levitt is a bit of a rock star. But not the sort who smashes guitars onstage; more the kind who wears skinny jeans and has a working knowledge of Kerouac. A music producer and film director as well as one of the better actors around, growing up to be Bruce Willis is the least we expect.

SEXIEST ROLE: The fake nose keeps Looper out of contention, so we're going to stick with Inception, for the three-piece suit and ice-cool attitude. STROKE OF CHARM: Here he is on Sesame Street.

26. Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds in Definitely, Maybe One day, Ryan Reynolds will star in a film that's as good as his interviews and the world will be better for it. In the meantime, his mega-watt charm, perfect six-pack and insane handsomeness will continue to sustain the fan-faithful, while they wait for a script with lines to fit his smart-ass delivery.

SEXIEST ROLE: It could have been Wade Wilson / Deadpool if not for that appalling experimentation twist, so let's go with Definitely, Maybe. STROKE OF CHARM: His feud with Betty White is endearing.

25. Mads Mikkelsen

Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal

You sick puppies; we're pretty sure Mads Mikkelsen is here because of his so-hot-right-now role as Hannibal Lecter on TV. There he plays a sophisticate, an aesthete, a gourmet – oh, and a serial killer. But the fine young cannibal has played a Bond villain, a queen's lover and a mute Viking warrior with equal aplomb, all helped by those razor cheekbones and intense eyes.

SEXIEST ROLE: Sorry, Hannibal fans, but it's his warrior, Tristan, in King Arthur, rocking vaguely Japanese armour and a pet hawk like a rock star. STROKE OF CHARM: He used to be a gymnast and then a dancer.

24. Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig as James Bond

The first billion-dollar Bond looks as good in swimming trunks as he does in a tuxedo (which is saying quite a lot), and gives the role an edge of menace and melancholy that has made the spy more popular than ever. But it's more than this: if Her Majesty trusts him enough to jump out of a helicopter with him alongside, who are we to quibble with his appeal?

SEXIEST ROLE: Bond, James Bond, jumping onto a train as the carriage behind him is ripped away and calmly adjusting his cuffs as he does so. You have to love a man with confidence like that. STROKE OF CHARM: It turns out he's a big Eurovision / Celine Dion fan.

23. Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum in White House Down

We already knew about the dance ability and the aw-shucks charm. What has only become clear in the last couple of years, however, is that Channing Tatum is multi-talented, working with Soderbergh, moving into production and proving that he's really, really funny in 21 Jump Street. What? You didn't notice? You were too busy perving over Magic Mike, weren't you?

SEXIEST ROLE: At the risk of being obvious, Magic Mike. That opening number to Ginuwine's Pony left most of the cinema gaping. STROKE OF CHARM: All this, and he can poke fun at himself.

22. Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler as Leonidas in 300

Gerard Butler was back in action-mode for the first time in what felt like ages for Olympus Has Fallen earlier this year, and it reminded us all how much we like him when he's kicking ass and taking names. Now a producer as well as a leading man, Butler's star is still in the ascendant...

SEXIEST ROLE: Leonidas, tragically cursed with a serious allergy to clothes and an addiction to doing sit-ups. STROKE OF CHARM: Remember when he sat with Bradley Cooper at the Wimbledon Men's Singles final this year and they took selfies and went mental?

21. Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye

The Hurt Locker brought Renner to the limelight after years of supporting roles, and suddenly he was everywhere. He did the suave spy thing in Mission: Impossible, the more brutal operative schtick in The Bourne Legacy and then he cemented the whole thing as Hawkeye, the cool, quiet member of the Avengers in the sleeveless top.

SEXIEST ROLE: Hawkeye – the strong and silent type. For the record, however, this only holds when he's not being possessed by an alien entity. STROKE OF CHARM: He likes dogs.

20. Christian Bale

Christian Bale as Batman

He's not going to be the funniest or lightest guy around (except maybe in Gotham) but Christian Bale compensates with a scorching intensity that makes him searingly hot. Whether fighting dragons, mastering magic tricks or outwitting the Joker, he can do it all, and then disappear off into the sunset to re-emerge in a Florence café.

SEXIEST ROLE: Why fight the obvious? It's Batman / Bruce Wayne. STROKE OF CHARM: Look how adorable he was as a kid! And boy, that mid-Atlantic accent goes back a long way.

19. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt in Ocean's 11

Genuine question: has there been a “sexiest” list, anywhere in the world, since Thelma & Louise came out that has not featured William Bradley Pitt somewhere upon it? We doubt it. That's because he's insanely, outrageously handsome, pleasantly deep-voiced, apparently cultured (check out his eternal love of architecture), clearly charitable and perfectly paired with one of the coolest women alive.

SEXIEST ROLE: For the suits alone, it's the Ocean's films' Rusty. STROKE OF CHARM: How about his inexplicable but delightful cameo here?

18. Richard Armitage

Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

Richard Armitage should really be here for North & South, but our guess is that it's Robin Hood fans and Hobbit lovers who gave him this spot. That makes him, officially, Middle-earth's sexiest dwarf (indeed, denizen), and it's all thanks to eyes like ice chips and one of those voices that bypasses the higher parts of the brain and goes straight for the instinctive bits.

SEXIEST ROLE: On the big screen, it's Thorin Oakenshield, on a quest to free his homeland from a giant lizard. On the small screen, we'll go with the fan consensus and hand it to Robin Hood's Guy of Gisbourne. STROKE OF CHARM: He's actually the tallest of The Hobbit's cast, and seems to rather enjoy playing short.

17. Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy in This Means War

The reason Tom Hardy is so dang attractive is because he combines a bull-like exterior with a gooey, big-hearted interior – at least onscreen. Consider Warrior's wounded Tommy, Tinker Tailor's Ricki or even The Dark Knight Rises' Bane: all big scary men hiding secret love stories. In Lawless, he even managed to make a ratty grey cardigan look good, which suggests there's no stopping this sex appeal.

SEXIEST ROLE: Well, if you don't mind the quality of the film then he looks pretty awesome in This Means War. Alternatively, check out the suits in Inception. STROKE OF CHARM: Here he is, rapping on behalf of his baby son.

16. James McAvoy

James McAvoy in Atonement

Sorry, Sir Sean. Goodbye, Gerard. The hottest Scot of the lot is McAvoy – although we can't rule out the possibility that, in his role as Professor X, he's mind-controlling everyone and forcing them to vote for him. A true-blue geek and an utterly captivating romantic lead, McAvoy's eminently qualified for a game of cops and robbers – after his roles in Trance and Welcome To The Punch, we mean.

SEXIEST ROLE: Robbie in Atonement. We're still a bit upset about the way he was treated there, to be honest. STROKE OF CHARM: He loves his art – but not as much as he loves helping people.

15. Chris Evans

Chris Evans as Captain America

He was one of the funniest of Ramona Flowers' ex-boyfriends, wore a whipped-cream bikini in Not Another Team Movie and was quite literally so hot he was on fire in the Fantastic Four movies. But it wasn't until he emerged from that vita-ray pod and Hayley Atwell reached for his newly inflated chest, almost despite herself, that he really leapt up this list.

SEXIEST ROLE: It's gotta be Steve Rogers as Captain America, where he swaps Johnny Storm's cockiness for a sense of responsibility and morality. Gosh. STROKE OF CHARM: We always thought this was rather amusing – if you can overlook the blond tips.

14. Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto as Spock in Star Trek

All logic and intellect on the outside, fiery Vulcan passion on the inside, Quinto's Spock is the epitome of a man with hidden depths. In real life he's a producer and successful stage actor, as well as our favourite science officer ever – and his eyebrows would make a Voth hot under the collar.

SEXIEST ROLE: While we're as partial to Sylar in Heroes as the next magazine, it does really have to be Spock. He's just so pointy-eared and green-blooded. STROKE OF CHARM: Try this short film with Quinto playing a would-be dog adopter.

13. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp in The Rum Diary

Proof that you can stay hot even in your sixth decade – as long as you're Johnny Depp to start with – the weirdest man ever to be a mega-star continues to draw in the votes. Interested in everything, undeniably talented and eternally unconventional, Depp isn't just relying on his perfect features to bring in the votes.

SEXIEST ROLE: As Sam in Benny & Joon he was pretty adorable, but for pure sex appeal it's probably Roux in Chocolat. It's the guitar. STROKE OF CHARM: He carries around a Cap'n Jack costume so he can visit children's hospitals and read to sick children.

12. Chris Pine

Chris Pine as Captain Kirk in Star Trek

We don't know if Chris Pine is a super smart, silver-tongued flirt in real life. But with the exception of that one neo-Nazi, he tends to specialise in analytical geniuses who have a nice sideline in chatting up anyone passing, and that's hot. Even when saddled with terrible hair and dialogue – we're looking at you, Princess Diaries sequel – he somehow gets away with it. Like Captain Kirk, he always snatches victory from the jaws of defeat.

SEXIEST ROLE: Captain James Tiberius Kirk, on a five-year mission to explore every green-skinned girl in the galaxy. STROKE OF CHARM: He claims to be sensitive, yet resists Ellen's attempts to get him to cry.

11. Idris Elba

Idris Elba as Luther

There are few people with sufficient authority, strength and charisma to tell us they're going to cancel the apocalypse. There are fewer still who can make us believe that they actually could. Elba's one of the latter, a force of nature can steal scenes from the God Of Thunder or a 250-ft Jaeger with equal ease. Tall, manly and unspeakably talented, it's only a matter of time until he wins all the Oscars and becomes emperor of the world.

SEXIEST ROLE: TV's Luther, passionate and heartbroken and absolutely driven to do what's right. STROKE OF CHARM: Still tougher than you despite a broken foot.

10. Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook It's hard to reconcile Bradley Cooper, mega-star, to the guy who used to play Jennifer Garner's nerdy friend on Alias. Some men just have to grow into their own handsomeness, but boy did Cooper do so, suddenly erupting onto the scene with The Hangover and establishing himself as Tinseltown's go-to guy for slightly caddish heartbreakers. Then came his Oscar-nominated turn in Silver Linings Playbook, and it turns out he can do anything. Who knew?

SEXIEST ROLE: Call us crazy, but Pat in Silver Linings Playbook is pretty adorable. And you know he's in great shape because of all the running and the dancing, whereas Phil in The Hangover seems like he'd be a riskier bet to have around. STROKE OF CHARM: He speaks French. Brace yourselves.

9. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

There's probably something about Hugh Jackman that isn't awesome. Sure, he can sing, dance, act, and rip people to shreds with his claws, and sure, he's so frequently shirtless that he makes Matthew McConaughey look like a never-nude. Oh, and he spends his holidays going to cookery schools in France. But there's bound to be something. It's just that no one has found it yet.

SEXIEST ROLE: Obviously Wolverine, but more specifically the X2 vintage, where he spends most of the movie in a vest looking worried about people. He probably needs a hug. STROKE OF CHARM: Famously one of the nicest men in Hollywood, there's a wealth of contenders, but we're partial to this inexplicable but adorable shot.

8. Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender as Magneto in X-Men: First Class

An irresistible Irish brogue, a cheeky grin and acting talent to burn. Whether he's playing Magneto in X-Men or Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender is so attractive he can make the most awful characters seem appealing. And aren't you impressed we got the whole way through this blurb without ever alluding to his full-frontal shot in Shame?

SEXIEST ROLE: Stelios in 300. He grins a lot, he's cocky and he's practically nekkid throughout. STROKE OF CHARM: Perhaps this pre-fame advert.

7. Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson in Water For Elephants

The once and former R.Pattz may have burst onto the scene as dreamy vampire Edward, but he's not one to rest on pretty boy laurels. What keeps the fans affections (we like to think) is the way he keeps pushing himself into tougher and tougher roles, and his ability to laugh – hard – at the idea that his perfect features and great hair in any way make him a sex symbol.

SEXIEST ROLE: Let's be controversial here, and suggest Water For Elephants, where he's still dreamy and gentleman-like, but doesn't sneak into the bedrooms of teenage girls while they're asleep. STROKE OF CHARM: His own views on Edward are enough to make even Twi-haters reassess him.

6. Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

There's a moment in the S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot where someone points out that Thor is not, technically, a god. Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill retorts, “You haven't been near his arms.” It's hard to argue with the sex appeal of a man with biceps like that. And indeed all the other muscles. And the voice. And the smile. That he's also a devoted family man and unfailingly nice guy is just a bonus.

SEXIEST ROLE: While he's handy with a big chopper in Snow White & The Huntsman, it's still as Thor that he shines most and swings the hammer hardest. STROKE OF CHARM: Basically everything on this page.

5. Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man

If the results of this vote teach us anything, it's that voters find intelligent men hot. Downey was always ludicrously good-looking, but as he's gotten older and relied more on his sheer charisma and obvious smarts, he's only gotten sexier. As Sherlock and Tony Stark, he dispelled forever the notion that inventors should be anything but a mega-babe. Sorry, merely-average looking geniuses: you need to try harder.

SEXIEST ROLE: At the risk of stating the obvious, it's Tony Stark, all boundless energy and intelligence and charisma. If you could actually catch his attention for more than 30 seconds, it would totally be worth it. STROKE OF CHARM: Here he is posing with dozens of little Iron Men.

4. Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives

When Ryan Gosling was not voted Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine a couple of years back, an actual protest took place outside the magazine's offices. God knows what will happen to us now you've voted the Drive star fourth. But one thing is sure: the dog-loving, mugger-thwarting, meme-inspiring Gosling will only grin wryly and keep on being cool about all the craziness, while planning his next awesome role.

SEXIEST ROLE: Still The Notebook, which seems him being all romantic and steadfast and strong-but-silent and kissy-in-the-rain. STROKE OF CHARM: Have you seen him with his dog? But we're also partial to this adorably embarrassed video.

3. Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill as Superman

Sculpted. Impossibly buff. So handsome he might well be an alien from Krypton. Poor Henry Cavill has to cope with such descriptions on a daily basis, and he does it all without developing a single worry line to mar those perfect features, when we imagine he'd rather be loved for his not-inconsiderable mind instead.

SEXIEST ROLE: Probably Immortals, where he models his wardrobe on 300's less-is-more maxim in a commendable effort to take down the Greek gods. STROKE OF CHARM: He wasn't always this handsome.

2. Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Tall, eloquent and impossibly charming, Hiddleston is so hot right now that – in this vote – he single-handedly defeated every single Avenger and the Man Of Steel for good measure. He also seems to a cheerful and philosophical soul who goes out of his way for his fans, his colleagues and recently for UNICEF. Maybe bad guys really do have more fun.

SEXIEST ROLE: Why, Loki of course, turning fratricidal angst into frenzied lust for millions of viewers worldwide. Apart from that, we're partial to his F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight In Paris. STROKE OF CHARM: Here he is with Cookie Monster.

1. Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock

You're damn right he's number one. While not as hyper-muscly or comically chiselled as others on this list, Cumberbatch specialises in characters that are far too clever, and far too cool, to take the rest of humanity seriously – and then he somehow makes us love him for it. It helps that, off-screen, he's still clever and insanely charismatic but quite a bit nicer than the characters he habitually plays.

SEXIEST ROLE: In film, it's his turn as "John Harrison" in this year's Star Trek Into Darkness. He always seems to get great coats with great collars. If we consider TV, however, then Sherlock will be slugging it out with Harrison for the title. STROKE OF CHARM: He compares himself to Sid from Ice Age.