With 2017 coming to an end, audiences have had time to soak in the year’s biggest and most buzzed-about movies, from $300 million tentpoles to low-budget indies stirring up a ton of Oscar buzz.
Though the Academy Awards might insist otherwise, incredible acting can be found across genres and budgets, and so this list includes not only the very best of the art-house realm, but also some of the most profound performances from major Hollywood blockbusters.
To that end, a number of the year’s most entertaining performances even missed out on making the cut (Bill Skarsgard in It, Harrison Ford in Blade Runner 2049, Mark Hamill in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky), demonstrating just how jam-packed with incredible turns 2017 has been.
From unforgettable antagonists to unconventional heroes, young actors doing inexplicable work and old legends delivering their best efforts to date, these are the 20 best movie performances from the last 12 months…
20. James McAvoy – Split
James McAvoy gave arguably the best performance of his career at the start of the year in M. Night Shyamalan’s devilishly entertaining little thriller.
McAvoy gets one hell of an acting workout playing Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man suffering from dissociative identity disorder, requiring McAvoy to constantly switch gears between Crumb’s distinct personalities.
That the actor makes each of the personalities feel so unique is extremely impressive, while going full-tilt visceral for Crumb’s final personality, The Beast.
Though not typically the type of performance that gets much awards love, McAvoy should be proud of so fully committing himself to such a complex and challenging character. And with the follow-up Glass to come in 2019, he’s not finished yet.