9. Oscar Isaac - A Most Violent Year
There's little doubt that Oscar Isaac will end up with an Academy Award sooner or later, and he absolutely should've been nominated for one in J.C. Chandor's expertly crafted crime drama A Most Violent Year.
Despite scoring strong critical praise and considerable awards hype, the film sank like a stone at the box office and failed to make a dent on the awards circuit, ensuring Isaac's sublime work largely went unsung.
Isaac plays Abel Morales, a heating oil entrepreneur who struggles to expand his business in the face of extreme, often violent competition.
This isn't a remotely showy performance from Isaac but instead a phenomenally restrained piece of acting, simmering with furious intensity in a way reminiscent of '70s Al Pacino.
Though Isaac's career skyrocketed the very next year after he appeared in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this is still the strongest work he's ever produced, and yet curious few have actually seen it. Don't sleep on it any longer.