8 Recent Incredible Movie Performances That Nobody Expected

These shockingly good recent performances were so unexpected that we never saw them coming.

Borat 2
Amazon Studios

It is a wonderful thing about human nature that we are infinitely unpredictable. Any one person contains multitudes and is capable of things we don’t know, maybe some things even they don’t know.

When it comes to the world of movies, this means that even at the most unexpected times, an actor or director can just really pull it out the bag. Even if they’ve been stagnant or unimpressive for years, there’s always the potential for them to just turn it all around. We’ve seen it happen a million times before and we’ll see it again.

There are plenty of reasons why we might not expect much from a given actor. Potentially they’re inexperienced, have a bad history, have been out of the game for a while and such. Well we all need to stop being so quick to judge because we can be proven wrong in an instant.

Typecasting and pigeonholing may hold some celebrities back, but there’ll always be those who break free and surprise us all with a stunning performance. In this aspect and this aspect alone, I love to be proven wrong.

8. Nicolas Cage - Pig

Borat 2

I guess it’s rather unfair that over the years Nicolas Cage has become a bit of a joke. It’s an unfortunate side-product of his propensity for goofy over-acting and his participation in a variety of bad films; it’s the Adam Sandler effect, if you will.

He has a range of solid performances under his belt, from performing alongside Cher in 1987’s Moonstruck to his haunting performance in 2018’s Mandy - his range is really quite impressive. This doesn’t make him immune to the effects of his less successful films, however, and it’s always the bad reputation that sticks around longest.

So when we heard of a film about a truffle forager whose pig is stolen with Cage in the main role, we expected the worst. Fortunately for director Michael Sarnoski though, his feature debut has been a hit with pretty much every critic - with Cage being praised for his convincing - and surprisingly subdued - performance as forager Rob Feld.

In Cage terms it’s an understated performance, which critics have praised for the modest humility he brought to the role. With Pig, Cage has reminded us all that he is not to be pigeon-holed.


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