The 15 Best Male Performances of 2014

Now that we’ve looked at the best posters, original scores and female performances, it’s time for the top 15 male performances of 2014. We’re getting real close to the end, with only a post left! This was by far the hardest list to rank, for the amount of male talent on the big screen last year was just huge – even the ones in the honourable mentions were superb. I cheated twice but hey, my blog my rules. Also note that while Norton and Redmayne were amazing, they’re in the honourable mentions because I wanted to highlight lesser-known performances. And we’re doing this the quick way, with just pictures.

Possibly notable performances I haven’t seen: Alfred Molina in Love is Strange, Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin in Inherent Vice, Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, and Gaspard Ulliel in Saint Laurent.

Edward Norton, Birdman
Eddie RedmayneThe Theory of Everything
Alec BaldwinStill Alice
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Ben AffleckGone Girl
Elijah WoodGrand Piano
Dominic WestPride
Bradley CooperGuardians of the Galaxy
Michael FassbenderFrank
Keanu ReevesJohn Wick


share your favourites in the comments!



  1. February 11, 2015 / 2:19 AM

    Great list! Still have to see most of the performances you mentioned, but very excited to watch Nightcrawler and Birdman!

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:44 PM

      thanks! Ooh you’re in for a treat with those two 😀

  2. Brittani
    February 11, 2015 / 2:26 PM

    Yes, Gyllenhaal at #1! He’s definitely my favorite male performance of the year as well. I really need to see Maps to the Stars, and I love seeing McAvoy here for Filth. Excellent list! 🙂

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:46 PM

      Thank you, Brittani! I’m glad you liked McAvoy in Filth too, he didn’t get enough love for that part.

  3. February 11, 2015 / 2:51 PM

    Oh Jack.. mmmm. I love seeing him up so high, he was really great in that indeed. Such a nice list, and I totally get the difficult part and cheating part, how can you be honest with this post when all these men pretty much dishonestly stole my heart numerous times and all at the same time too!

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:47 PM

      Yep, that’s exactly right – same feeling here!

  4. Keith & the Movies
    February 11, 2015 / 3:50 PM

    Some really good names on the list. I love seeing Isaac, Fiennes, Johannes Kuhnke and (in what is an incredible surprise) Robert Pattinson represented.

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:48 PM

      Oh Pattinson was great, even in Maps to the Stars I thought there was something about him.

  5. February 11, 2015 / 8:42 PM

    Good list. Glad to see Force Majeure Actors here. I loved the film and performances.

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:49 PM

      Me too, the leading lady also made it in my female performances’s list. It was such a great cast!

  6. February 12, 2015 / 2:33 PM

    Excellent list! Edward Norton will always be in my list but its so good to see Keaton back on form! I was also really impressed by Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler – hardly recognized him as that creepy Bloom.

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:51 PM

      Gyllenhaal looked like the kind of guy you’d avoid making eye contact with, he looked sick. So very impressive, yes – I wish he was nominated for it.

    • February 18, 2015 / 2:33 PM

      I thought he would be for this performance, but it seems everyone has gone crazy for Redmayne as Hawking, which is a huge shame.

  7. ruth
    February 13, 2015 / 9:24 PM

    Hi Sofia! I’m seeing Nightcrawler this weekend, I have a feeling Jake G would’ve make my Top 10 list if I had seen that sooner. Oyelowo, Keaton and Carrell were on my list as well. Glad to see Tom Hardy in Locke on here, too!

    • February 16, 2015 / 9:55 PM

      I hope you like Nightcrawler, Ruth – I sure loved it! Still can’t believe Hardy had me so invested in cement for over an hour.

  8. Diane
    February 22, 2015 / 12:22 AM

    So hard to pick a best. Didn’t see all,the movies and Bradley Cooper is missing from this list for American Sniper. He gave a great performance. Robert pattinson blew me away in the Rover just didn’t expect that performance from him. Michael Keaton I love and Birdman was awesome. Jake was rediculously creepy in Night crawler. Lol guess I am no help. Can’t pick one favorite

    • February 22, 2015 / 4:05 PM

      Oh I haven’t seen American Sniper yet. I didn’t expect it either, and I also liked him in Maps to the Stars, though it was a more subtle performance.

      It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite, this was such a great year for male performers. Gyllenhaal took the number one spot for me because he was amazing in not only one, but two movies (Enemy), playing a total of three characters! It was a massive year for him.

  9. Josh
    April 3, 2015 / 10:39 PM

    Love these! It’s awesome to see James McAvoy make the top 10. He was great in both movies, and he was largely overlooked last year.

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