It’s Neeson season, that special time of the year when the towering Northern Irish thespian proves once again that he is America’s most badass, formidable action star — watch out “Expendables” cast! Liam Neeson has had one of the most varied careers of any actor, ranging from small parts in 80s sci-fi/fantasy (“Krull,” “Excalibur”) and dramas (“The Mission,” “Suspect”) to superhero flicks (“Darkman,” “The Dark Knight”) to big fantasy (“The Chronicles of Narnia”) and his classic, weightier roles (“Schindler’s List,” “Rob Roy” and “Michael Collins”). Neeson could have probably retired for life after “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” but then we wouldn’t have his semi-annual thriller to look forward to each year. Since 2008, Neeson has unleashed his kraken almost every year (sometimes twice a year) with hard-boiled thrillers.

Most recently, Neeson plays the iconic boozing detective Matt Scudder in "A Walk Among the Tombstones." While this isn’t the best of the Neeson thrillers, the tone of the film is tops, giving New York City that old-school gritty paint job harkening back to those wonderful 70s crime films, a la “Death Wish.” The real winner in this film, though, is Neeson’s beard.