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Je n'aime pas dans les vieux films américains quand les conducteurs ne regardent pas la route. Et de ratage en ratage, on s'habitue à ne jamais dépasser le stade du brouillon. La vie n'est que l'interminable répétition d'une représentation qui n'aura jamais lieu.

End of 2016 Movies: Best 2016 Male Performances

This list is based purely on films officially released in 2016 that I saw in calendar year 2016.  Out of 53 movies, each packed with male performances, these are the fifteen best. 

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

His finest performance yet . . . troubled, emotionally closed . . . nothing short of heartbreaking . . . he almost always chooses the quieter way . . . makes the larger moments of emotion even more powerful. 

Julian Dennison – Hunt for the Wilderpeople

One of the performances of the year as a chubby, thug-life poser . . . his physicality is wonderful . . . an innocent earnestness sells even the most ridiculous moments . . . without ever becoming cartoonish. 

Ryan Gosling – The Nice Guys

Gosling’s wastrel PI . . . is enough to get you in the door . . . incredibly funny . . . hilarious.

Andre Holland.jpg

Andre Holland – Moonlight

Kevin is particularly well done by Andre Holland . . . moments of incredible power . . . a lengthy section at a diner. 

Sam Neill – Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Finest performance in years as the crusty, cranky foster father . . . hilarious, dry, minimal . . . if I’ve seen a performance that said more with stillness & bewildered looks, I can’t think of it. 

Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool

A force of nature . . . it isn’t just his facility with profanity and comedy; he’s able to make us believe in Wade as a real person by nailing more dramatic moments as well. 

Trevante Rhodes – Moonlight

Rhodes creates a genuinely tragic figure as the young man version of Chiron . . . an intense front with sorrow behind his eyes. 

Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Brilliant in a minimal, menacing performance as a mysterious, morally compromised lawman. 

Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals

Real revelation . . . unbelievably terrifying . . .way out there on the edge . . . nothing short of award worthy.

Anthony Weiner – Weiner

Complicated, decidedly troubled human being . . . an empathetic crusader & a self-absorbed narcissist . . . you’re left to pick up the pieces and puzzle over the man.

Honorable Mentions

Russell Crowe – The Nice Guys

Crowe’s brutish enforcer . . . basically brilliant . . . hilarious, poignant.  

Robert Downey, Jr. – Captain America: Civil War

Performances are nothing short of excellent.  Robert Downey Jr. . . . distinguishes himself with . . . most likely his best performance since the nineties. 

Joel Edgerton – Midnight Special

Another in a line of really amazingly good performances . . . locked down & minimal . . . tamped down & interior. 

Jake Gyllenhaal – Nocturnal Animals

A really emotionally raw performance. 

Shah Rukh Khan – Fan

A dual role . . . both star & fan in this thriller . . . really intense performance . . . his work as superstar really knocked me out . . . interesting layering . . . head and shoulders above anything else he’s done. 

Next time, best female performances!