As an audience member, it's always hugely rewarding to see an actor grow over the years and, eventually, witness them surpass themselves with a performance that betters everything else they've ever been a part of.
While this can often be the sort of work that results in Academy Awards as actors confound expectations and stun critics, at the same time not all actors are lucky enough to showcase their strongest work in a genuinely great movie.
That's certainly true of these 10 actors, all of whom gave potentially career-defining performances, yet all of which were in massively underwhelming, even otherwise terrible movies that just didn't deserve their hard work.
In every example, the quality acting was singled out by critics above all else, and in a couple of instances it didn't stop the Academy from recognising their talents, even if for the most part these performances could've been even better with a stronger script and more compelling direction.
As it stands, these performances are both impressive in their own right and something of a missed opportunity...