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Hollywood movie performances that were BEST in 2022: Cate Balanchett, Austin Butler to Michelle Yeoh!

The actors on this list, while not listed in any particular order, produced rich, exceptional work that shone out regardless of how much screen time they had.

Alisha Limbachia | Updated On: Dec 28, 2022 09:32 PM IST

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Hollywood movie performances that were BEST in 2022: Cate Balanchett, Austin Butler to Michelle Yeoh!

We look back at some of the top Hollywood performances from 2022 as the year comes to a conclusion.


Here is a list of the best Hollywood performances of the year.


Todd Field's operatic exploration of the abuse of power features Cate as the titular orchestra leader Lydia Tar, and Cate is nothing short of remarkable in the role. The actor's ability to make the audience believe that she is a clever, EGOT-winning artist who knows her craft, rather than amusing the audience with long remarks, is the true strength of her performance. We firmly believe in her commitment to excellence and her leadership skills when it comes to a group of musicians. Cate has performed an act of genius by portraying one. The Academy Award-winning actor paints a forensic, razor-sharp depiction of an artist in a career marked by thrilling work that very well could win her the third Oscar.


Rarely do we witness a performance that leaves an audience member rushing to look up the actor as soon as the movie is over. In Baz Luhrmann's musical biography Elvis, Austin achieves the impact as the legendary singer Elvis "the Pelvis" Presley. The picture is held together even at its shaky, melodramatic moments by Austin's explosive performance, who matches the film's passion and ambition by grinding and starring his way through it. Then there are the instances when Austin completely nails the parade of the most iconic tunes, which includes Hound Dog and Heartbreak Hotel. There is no denying Austin's spectacular performance in Elvis had an influence.


In the sneakily entertaining follow-up to Knives Out (2019), Janelle's Andi has no time for wasting time trying to figure out a problem when we first meet her. With an axe, she smashes the wooden box and gets right to the point. Janelle outperforms stars Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, and Kate Hudson in the ensemble whodunit, where her performance has the same impact. Even the smallest error in character judgement could have ruined this complex, expertly planned performance. The fact that her performance improves even more on the second viewing after we understand what transpired emphasises the fact that this is a performance that shouldn't be missed.


Timothee portrays Lee, a young cannibal who selects his prey based on their ability to commit an act of wrongdoing or cause harm to another person. Once his character confesses his torturous past to Taylor Russell's Maren in Luca Guadagnino's superb Bones And All, the pattern slowly becomes apparent. Luca, who steered the rising star to international fame in Call Me By Your Name, certainly has a knack for utilising the actor's restraint and impulsivity. The wounded, battered heart at the centre of the movie is played by Timothee as Lee; not a single note in this subtly moving performance feels out of place.


In Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's Everything Everywhere All At Once, Michelle gave the performance of the year, hopping from one universe to another without losing a single bit of the emotional openness. Michelle excels in this once-in-a-lifetime part because of her decades of experience in physical action. She can also generate a tenderness that lifts her character Evelyn Wang out of the interlaced screenplay's grasp and gives her an unlimited range of control. Award her with everything!


The wild action sequences in Top Gun Maverick can only be performed by Tom as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell. After 36 years, the actor reprises the part and gives it the fervour and vigour of a contemporary celebrity. This is a movie star performance at its best, radiating with age and experience, unafraid to show his fears, frustrations, and insecurities. The cockpit chains alone are in a league of their own. It's a composed performance from a performer that consistently keeps the audience's interest.


Mia gave what might very well be the most unforgettable double-bill performances of the year as the lead in Ti West's X and subsequently the prequel Pearl. She made an impression as both the young, edgy woman and the elderly monster buried beneath a mountain of prosthetics. Above all else, her unbroken six-minute speech in Pearl should serve as proof enough of the actor's talent to transform a monster into the climax of layers of tenderness and despair. A performance that rings with emotional honesty, it is captivating and shattering.


Colin had a fantastic year, giving outstanding performances in After Yang, The Batman, and Thirteen Lives, to name just a few. But he saved his best performance for last, reconnecting with Martin McDonagh, who directed him in In Bruges (2008), to play Padraic, a wounded but sympathetic Irishman. As Colin's longtime friend Colm (Brendan Gleeson) declines to speak to him one fine morning, he portrays a man whose generosity conceals itself as manly hurt in a powerfully moving way. Despite realising that his life suddenly feels meaningless without the companion, he still refuses to let go of them. You'll be stopped in your tracks when you see him alone with his pet donkey Jenny.

These also deserve special mention: Brendan Fraser in The Whale, Dakota Johnson in Cha Cha Real Smooth, Tilda Swinton in The Eternal Daughter Leo Grande and Keke Palmer in Nope, Emma Thompson in Good Luck To You.

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