Features Film

10 Underappreciated Film Performances You May Have Missed In 2018

As we prepare to draw a line under 2018, Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge picks out 10 praise-worthy film performances that may have gone under the radar this year.


10) Steve Carell – The Last Flag Flying

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Steve Carell goes against type to deliver a quiet and pensive performance in Richard Linklater’s film lamenting the costs of war.

9) Charlie Plummer – Lean On Pete

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Charlie Plummer impressively takes the reins in Andrew Haigh’s melancholic drama about a young man seeking connection in a cruel world.

8) Daniel Giménez Cacho – Zama

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You can see the wasted years slip off the sweaty and weary face of Daniel Giménez Cacho’s character in this haunting performance.

7) Haliee Steinfeld – Bumblebee

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Hailee Stenfeld lends a charm and warmth to one of the surprise film treats of 2018. An actress with the natural affability and skill to have a career on a similar level to Emma Stone.

6) Amandla Stenberg – The Hate U Give

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A passionate and bold performance from Stenberg announces herself as an actress to keep a close eye on in 2019 and beyond.

5) Aya Cash – Mary Goes Round

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“Cash is the on-screen heartbeat of this film as she gives Mary vulnerability while retaining a spirit and charm that leaves you willing her to pull through.” Full Review…

4) Ethan Hawke – First Reformed

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A hard-hitting Ethan Hawke performance puts the necessary weight behind Paul Schrader’s compelling portrait of a tortured pastor.

3) Thomasin McKenzie – Leave No Trace

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Alongside the ever-excellent Ben Foster, this bright newcomer delivers an impactful performance as a young woman torn between her father and community life.

2) Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here

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Joaquin Phoenix is at his intense and bruising best in the dark realm of Lynne Ramsey’s You Were Never Really Here.

1) Lily Newmark – Pin Cushion

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A captivating performance from an actress with a unique intrigue and endless potential.

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