10 Great Movie Performances (No One Ever Talks About)

Shame on audiences for sleeping on these fantastic performances.

Val Kilmer Tombstone
Hollywood Pictures

As much as many of the year's finest performances get praised lavished upon them at year-end awards ceremonies and the endless reams of "best-of" lists, there are so many more great feats of acting that sadly end up slipping through the cracks.

We as audiences can naturally only ever see so much, but it's always a crying shame when fantastic performances end up fading into the ether.

These 10 performances are all remarkable acting achievements, each bringing an uncharacteristic honesty to their characters no matter the genre or tone.

And while in most cases these movies contain their respective actors' finest acting work to date, they largely fell upon deaf ears on release or shortly therefore, winning a quick swath of critical praise before everyone moved onto the next big thing.

But these performances absolutely shouldn't be slept on - they're often superior to the turns that actually did win Oscars in their respective years, and deserve to be seen by as many film lovers as possible.

In particular, if you're a fan of any of these actors, these performances should be considered required viewing...

10. Ted Levine - The Silence Of The Lambs

Considering it's one of just three movies in history to win the Big Five Academy Awards - that's Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay - it might seem odd to talk about any aspect of The Silence of the Lambs as underappreciated.

But people trip over themselves to praise the performances of Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster so much - quite understandably, at least - that they seem to forget the film's third great piece of acting.

Ted Levine plays the supporting role of deranged serial killer Buffalo Bill, delivering an utterly bone-chilling performance which bafflingly received little praise from awards bodies and isn't much talked about today.

As much as Hopkins' performance as Hannibal Lecter became impossibly iconic, Levine's work is equally great, without which Jonathan Demme's thriller wouldn't be nearly as viscerally unsettling.

His performance is so much more than the widely-parodied scene where Bill tucks in his junk in the mirror while listening to "Goodbye Horses," but that's the single image most people associate Levine with.

That Levine wasn't nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in a relatively soft year, where Jack Palance won the award for City Slickers no less, is nothing short of criminal.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.