Sometimes, it just takes one good performance to haul a movie to cult classic status, or even lift it to the top of the box office. Even though we love it when a movie fires on all cylinders, there’s something fascinating about watching one actor perform at a level high above their peers.
It’s often because only one actor gets the right tone, or is the only one done favours by the script, while other times a supporting role ends up massively overshadowing the everyman lead. The movies here all make for decent watching, but they’d be a helluva lot worse without one particular actor kicking into overdrive.
The likes of Will Smith, Charlize Theron and JK Simmons all find themselves in someone’s shadow here, so it happens to the best of them.
Movies like Buried, Locke or Castaway which largely see a single actor on screen for most of the runtime haven’t been included, instead it’s the ones where someone has stepped up to the plate as others either phone it in or don’t have the script to develop their character in a meaningful way.