Three days to go! 2022 is wrapping up fast, and we have officially moved on to the movies part of my end of year rankings. We start off with the performances. While I don't think 2022 was an overall great year for movies, there were a lot of fantastic performances. It made both of my lists difficult to make. This one especially, just because there were so many solid actors that gave life to a bunch of great roles. But it had to come down to fifteen. So here they are. Be sure to keep an eye out for more end of year rankings coming soon and check out my worst performances of 2022 ranking as well.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Thor: Love and Thunder
The Adam Project
The Black Phone
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Everything Everywhere All at Once
Tom Cruise as Maverick (Top Gun: Maverick)
Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot (Death on the Nile)
Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)
Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
Chris Pine as Frank (Don't Worry Darling)
Glen Powell as Hangman (Top Gun: Maverick)
Daniel Kaluuya as Otis Haywood (Nope)
David Howard Thorton as Art the Clown (Terrifier 2)
Florence Pugh as Alice Chambers (Don't Worry Darling)
Amber Midthunder as Naru (Prey)
15. Tenoch Huerta as Namor (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)
Namor was a character that I was super excited to see brought to life in Wakanda Forever, and Tenoch Huerta delivered. He gives a charming performance that lets you believe the Sub-Mariner has good intentions...and then he turns menacing the second that Wakanda doesn't ally with him. It's a nuanced performance full of complexity that does a great job of turning from being fun and light-hearted to purely terrifying and evil. I cannot wait to see more of him in the future.
14. Gabriel LaBelle as Sammy Fabelman (The Fabelmans)
Although The Fabelmans wasn't really that great, Gabriel LaBelle gave a career-making performance at the center of it. LaBelle has all of the charm that you'd expect from a teenager in a Steven Spielberg movie while also allowing the audience to grasp on to him and connect with him on a deeper level. Part of that is Spielberg's direction, but LaBelle meshes with it perfectly. He's also really funny, which just added to his already fantastic portrayal of a young Spielberg himself.
13. Ethan Hawke as The Grabber (The Black Phone)
Ethan Hawke has had a hell of a year, and one of his craziest performances this year was one of two breakout horror icons. The Grabber is terrifying. He's a child killer that has to be charming, funny, and terrifying. And Hawke executes all of those perfectly. He's quirky and fun but you are so uncomfortable anytime he is on screen. Masks can make it hard for actors to fully express, but that was not the case with Hawke. He was incredible.
12. Robert Pattinson as Batman (The Batman)
Any doubts that anyone had about Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight were squashed as soon as that first trailer debuted. And he pummeled the remaining doubts with his performance in the full film. He gives us a Batman unlike any other. This isn't Christian Bale's crime-fighting icon of Gotham. This isn't Michael Keaton's silent protector. This is Robert Pattinson's vengeful, angry knight of justice, and he portrays that. I've never seen an actor be able to do so much by doing so little. He's able to communicate all of the emotions he needs to through his eyes, and that was insanely impressive. I'm completely on board with whatever Reeves and Pattinson have in store for future of this caped crusader. He was great.
11. Colin Farrell as The Penguin (The Batman)
One of the more surprising elements of The Batman was Colin Farrell's Penguin. I was excited to see his portrayal of Oswald Cobblepot, but I didn't expect him to be one of the best parts of the film. He was so charming and entertaining while also being a complete dirtbag. You can tell that the Penguin is this angry, insecure mob boss that has been playing second fiddle to Carmine Falcone for forever. I loved this performance. I'm still in shock that that picture is actually Colin Farrell, because it looks nothing like him, but even behind the makeup, he shines through and owns this role. I cannot wait to see him in his TV show.
10. Sosie Bacon as Rose Cotter (Smile)
Smile was more of an exploration of trauma and mental illness than I expected, and it was one of the strongest elements of the movie. One of the things that made that element so strong was Sosie Bacon’s performance. We’ve seen a lot of generic performances of the “crazy protagonist” In horror movies, but Bacon does something different with that trope. She actually portrays anxiety and deteriorating mental health in a sympathetic and realistic way. It was different than anything I’d seen before in all of the other horror movies that are like Smile. I really dug it.
9. Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery)
Daniel Craig’s iconic sleuth made his debut in 2019’s Knives Out, and his fantastic character continues into Glass Onion. It’s not necessarily that Craig does anything different as Blanc in Glass Onion. No, rather, he does the exact same thing, and it works just as effectively. And it shows Craig’s wide range of acting skill. He can handle classic roles like James Bond with perfection while also creating more iconic characters like Blanc with his own flair and own style. I absolutely love him in this role, and I cannot wait to see more Benoit in the future.
8. Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher (Thor: Love and Thunder)
Love and Thunder wasn’t great, but one of the biggest strengths of that movie was Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher. While I wish we got more of the character and the performance, what we got was great. Bale is one of my favorite actors, and he also has a wide range of characters he can portray. He harnesses the insanity that he had as Patrick Bateman while also having this sadness and sympathy to him that I haven’t really seen before. I loved his character and his performance. He elevated Love and Thunder to a decent movie.
7. Letitia Wright as Shuri (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)
Letitia Wright is the first actress to make both my good and bad list of performances. And her performance as Shuri is great. She harnesses the real, raw emotions of Chadwick Boseman’s death to give this devastating portrayal of Shuri as she changes and accepts her position in Wakanda. You feel the anger. You feel the denial. And you feel the sadness. Wakanda Forever was a cathartic experience, and Wright added to it. She was absolutely stunning.
6. Judd Hirsch as Uncle Boris (The Fabelmans)
It’s a little weird to put Judd Hirsch on here, because he’s in about two scenes in The Fabelmans. And he absolutely chews up all six or seven minutes of screentime he has. I think he will be nomninated for an Oscar, and I think this has to be the shortest amount of screentime for an actor to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor. But he absolutely deserves it. He is so funny while also being very wise and very inspiring. I didn’t really like The Fabelmans, but I absolutely loved his part of the film. He was fantastic.
5. Ke Huy Quan as Waymond Wang (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
I’m so excited that Ke Huy Quan is getting recognition, because he was the best part of Everything Everywhere All at Once. He essentially plays two different versions of the same character, and he does a great job at that. His multiversal personas are completely different. He plays them as almost polar opposites. But you still believe that they are the same person, which is impressive. He’s also really fun. He puts his all into the craziness of Everything Everywhere, and the movie is all the better for it.
4. Angela Bassett as Queen Ramonda (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)
Since Wakanda Forever, the conversation surrounding Angela Bassett’s performance has been electric. She is likely to be the first Marvel actress to receive an Oscar nod…and she one hundred percent deserves it. Like Letitia Wright, Bassett harnesses the raw emotion of Chadwick Boseman’s death to give an incredibly sad and powerful performance. There is a scene where she yells at Okoye in the throne room that had my jaw on the floor. She was incredible, and I am praying for her to get Oscar love.
3. Walker Scobell as Young Adam Reed (The Adam Project)
Walker Scobell gave a legitimate star-making performance in The Adam Project. Easily the best child performance I’ve seen in forever, Scobell basically acts like a young Ryan Reynolds…and he does it perfectly. He actually steals the spotlight from Reynolds whenever the two of them are on screen, and that had me shocked. He’s so charming and likable while also being able to inject a fair amount of emotion into his performance. Scobell is going to play Percy Jackson in the upcoming Disney+ TV series…and I’m so excited to see him do that. He was incredible.
2. Paul Dano as The Riddler (The Batman)
Paul Dano is really good at giving two types of performances: really emotional and reserved performances or absolutely insane performances. Can you guess which one this is? Dano rivals the great Batman villains with a crazy, terrifying, and DARK version of the Riddler. He just goes NUTS. Every time he was on screen, I was petrified. I was so excited to see his version of the character, and he absolutely blew me out of the water.
1. Ralph Fiennes as Chef Julian Slowik (The Menu)
Ralph Fiennes is a great actor, but he’s especially great at playing villains, something that he hasn’t really done since Harry Potter. Well, ladies and gentlemen, he played a villain in 2022...and it was magical. Fiennes gives a sinister and insane performance as Chef Julian Slowik. He is so good at being menacing while he’s quiet and being TERRIFYING when he explodes. The iconic elements that he brought to Voldemort and Amon Goeth and others are all present here. I don’t think he will, but I hope he gets an Oscar nod, because he was absolutely amazing.