The Most Terrific Performances of 2015

Now’s about the time that many of us film-watchers reflect on 2015’s offerings – what was good, what was not so good, what deserves all the awards, and so on. While many folks out there have made some great “best of” lists thus far, there are still a few anticipated picks that I have to wait until at least next month to catch. Therefore, my own top list of the year probably won’t come around until then.

In the meantime, however, I’d like to highlight all the great performances that really captured my attention throughout 2015. I’ve done ranked lists in the past and while I do love making them, I’ve found it to be a bit of a challenge to adequately rank my favorite ’15 performances – mainly because there were just so many great ones. Any inevitable omission would just seem wrong; therefore, I’m simply listing them in alphabetical order by film this time around. These aren’t all necessarily from films that I enjoyed – in fact, there’s a couple in here from films I hated yet were great performances nonetheless.

This is probably an incomplete list as, once again, there are still a few I’ve yet to see. So I’ll probably be making edits on this list from time to time.

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Jacqueline Kim as Gwen in Advantageous

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Steve Carell as Mark Baum in The Big Short

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Saoirse Ronan as Eilis in Brooklyn

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Emory Cohen as Tony in Brooklyn

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Cate Blanchett as Carol in Carol

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Rooney Mara as Therese in Carol

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Cate Blanchett as Stepmother in Cinderella

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Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in Creed

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Mark Duplass as Josef in Creep

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Bel Powley as Minnie in The Diary of a Teenage Girl

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Kristen Wiig as Charlotte in The Diary of a Teenage Girl

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Félix de Givry as Paul Valée in Eden

82690 Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour

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Alicia Vikander as Ava in Ex Machina

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Oscar Isaac as Nathan in Ex Machina

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Ronit Elkabetz as Viviane Amsalem in Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

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Karidja Touré as Val in Girlhood

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Jennifer Jason Leigh as Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight

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Arielle Holmes as Harley in Heaven Knows What

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Caleb Landry Jones as Ilya in Heaven Knows What

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Mark Ruffalo as Cam Stuart in Infinitely Polar Bear

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Phyllis Smith as Sadness in Inside Out

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Rinko Kikuchi as Kumiko in Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter

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Paul Dano as Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy

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Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road

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Jada Pinkett Smith as Rome in Magic Mike XXL

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Joe Manganiello as Big Dick Richie in Magic Mike XXL

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Greta Gerwig as Brooke in Mistress America

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Günes Sansoy as Lale in Mustang

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Nina Hoss as Nelly Lenz in Phoenix

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Brie Larson as Ma in Room

jacobtremblayfyc02 Jacob Tremblay as Jack in Room

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Regina Casé as Val in The Second Mother

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O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton

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Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton

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Kitana Kiki Rodriguez as Sin-Dee Rella in Tangerine

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Mya Taylor as Alexandra in Tangerine

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Deanna Dunagan as Nana in The Visit

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Body as Hagen in White God

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