[caption id="attachment_78289" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="MSN"][/caption]Ever since Michael Jackson and John Landis unleashed "Thriller" in 1983, shaming all that preceded it, the music video has become an art form within itself. It can be a launching pad for your career (Alicia Silverstone), a favor to a boyfriend (Courteney Cox, Evan Rachel Wood), or a way to begin rebuilding a thousand burned bridges (Mickey Rourke).
With the MTV Video Music Awards hitting MTV tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET, we've compiled a list of the 50 best based on a number of factors: creativity of video, quality of actor's performance and, for some, random dancing ability. Our only caveats: no cameos and no soundtracks. The debate begins now.
50. Daniel Radcliffe in Slow Club's "Beginners"
At first, seeing DanRad less-than-sober in a Hawaiian shirt is the opposite of magical, but then he starts lip-synching. Still, with big-boy moves like this video and his spooktastic turn in "The Woman in Black," we're ready and willing to enjoy the former Boy Who Lived as the grown up Guy Who Rocks.
49. Rebecca Hall in James Blake's "A Case of You"
Every crooner needs a muse, and James Blake has an uncanny ability to pick 'em. First with Mischa Barton for "Goodbye My Lover" and now the easy-going and gorgeous star of "The Town" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Hall manages to look ethereal even when she's angry, smoking, crying and shaving her legs. Basically, she's a perfect fit for a stunning cover of the Joni Mitchell classic.
48. Bruce Willis in Gorillaz's "Stylo"
It's all fun and games for the animated band on their road trip – even as they get into a bit of a car chase and shoot-out with a cop – until Bruce Willis comes around. The sky goes dark, yet he stays cool in his shades. Oh, and you so know he's gonna catch that spiky blue-haired trio. They don't stand a chance.
47. Anna Kendrick in LCD Soundsystem's "Pow Pow"
The "Twilight" starlet turned former Oscar nominee may look sweet and innocent wearing her sequined sweater and subtle giggles in this supervideo, but don't be fooled. Girl got powers. When her burly men don't sign on the dotted line and give her what she wants, she treats them to a witchy Iron Man-style jolt with her hands and puts 'em in their place.
46. Aubrey Plaza in Father John Misty's "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"
We thought Aubrey Plaza was supposed to be funny, but there's nothing funny about her bloody nose and creepy flower eating in this video. "Safety Not Guaranteed," indeed! Basically, she's a pretty hot, drug-addled mess in this video, but it's convincing so we're now pretty darn excited for whatever lays before her in her movie career. Well, so long has her real life looks nothing like this dark, twisty clip.
45. Olivia Wilde in Dashboard Confessional's "Stolen"
I once bought a pack of tarot cards when I was a kid and the shop owner told me never to let anyone else touch them. When I found my brother playing with them, I beat him senseless. That was probably an overreaction in hindsight. Olivia Wilde seems a lot more rational.
44. Miley Cyrus in Rock Mafia's "The Big Bang"
Putting the words "Miley Cyrus" and "Big Bang" in the same sentence may be fodder for a gossip rag to have a field day, but it's also a solid acting performance from the erstwhile Hannah Montana. Starring opposite "Gossip Girl"'s Kevin Zegers, she plays a dream girl whose life comes to a chilling conclusion.
43. Alexis Bledel in Less Than Jake's "She's Gonna Break Soon"
Remember that scene in "Pink Floyd The Wall" when Bob Geldof goes nuts and starts destroying everything in the room? This is kind of like that with worse music.
42. Matthew McConaughey in Butch Walker and the Black Widows' "Synthesizers"
Still looking like he's in his 20s, McConaughey reprises his role as one of the most quotable characters ever – Wooderson from "Dazed and Confused" – in the music video for this upbeat and catchy tune. In the video, Wooderson traverses through a dance club, lip syncing to the song and playing various instruments, accompanied by a few girls who look like they might be at least a few years out of high school. The video supposedly comes with the blessing of "Dazed and Confused" director Richard Linklater – we heartily approve as well, dude.
41. Rupert Grint in Ed Sheeran's "Lego House"
He may not be pining for Hermione, but that Ron Weasley still looks mighty cute when he's smitten (even in a pink hoodie). Well, until he's surrounded by faceless manniquins and trying to chew A.B.C. gum from a scrap book.