Top Ten Supporting Actor Performances

Watching a performer excel in a supporting role often makes a film all the more powerful. In 2022, we saw an abundance of supporting performances stand out in films with large ensembles, co-leads or intricate storytelling divvying up segments of the film. These are the men in supporting roles that stood out with their gripping performances in films released in 2022.

10. Chris Pine, Don’t Worry Darling

If you can move on from the online obsession with the behind-the-scenes scandals of Don’t Worry Darling and its admittedly bad script, there is stuff to love here! Mainly Chris Pine’s performance as a wannabe cult leader. He’s captivating and creepy, and you can’t take your eyes off him. Pine brings an electrifying presence to the screen. 

9. Britain Dalton, Avatar: The Way of Water

While I was unfamiliar with Britain Dalton before Avatar: The Way of Water, his performance as Lo’ak in the film truly elevated the entire experience. Dalton brings so much light and power to Pandora. There are various scenes where he provides heart to the film and then a necessary boost of power. In such a visuals-driven film, Dalton is able to stand out as a performer. 

8. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway

Over the last few years, Brian Tyree Henry has delivered some of the most consistent work as an actor and his performance in Causeway is one of his best. In Causeway, Henry is subtle yet powerful. His performance packs an emotional gut punch that stays with you. 

7. Michael Stuhlbarg, Bones and All

In his latest Luca Guadagnino film, Michael Stuhlbarg delivers one of his most memorable performances to date. Nothing prepares an audience for his appearance, but his line delivery is some of the most chilling you’ll hear all year. Stuhlbarg completely transforms and gives such a haunting performance in Bones and All.

6. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

In The Banshees of Inisherin, Barry Keoghan plays Dominic Kearney, a simpleton wandering the village, fidgeting his way through conversations of which he isn’t a part. Keoghan brings so much soul and love to the performance his character was an instant favorite of the film for many. The soulfulness Keoghan is able to show through Dominic makes him the heart of the film. 

5. Albrecht Schuch, All Quiet on the Western Front

In All Quiet on the Western Front, Albrecht Schuch delivers one of the most urgent performances of the year. Schuch plays Stanislaus with such a profound sadness that it is impossible to not feel for him. His final scenes are so captivating and create a lasting impression.

4. Andre Braugher, She Said

She Said is led by two powerful performances from the female leads, but Andre Braugher delivers a complementing, tender performance. Braugher plays real-life New York Times editor Dean Baquet with such conviction, while always letting the women in the film have full control over the scenes. He’s powerful without overpowering any scene. It is not a showy performance, but it’s exactly what is needed. 

3. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking

As the quiet stenographer in Women Talking, Ben Whishaw adds an unexpected gut punch to the story. While the film belongs to the women, Whishaw’s August listens and learns as the women debate and by the end of the film, his understanding of their decision is so impactful. His on-screen chemistry with Rooney Mara is beautiful and heartbreaking. His performance is a quiet one that audiences will carry with them long after the film ends.

2. Justin H. Min, After Yang

After Yang is a film that truly stays with you long after you see it and Justin H. Min is at the heart of that staying power. Min is captivating, gentle and profound as the titular Yang, an android. The emotional drive of the film follows Min as the film investigates human essence. His performance is natural and subtle as he makes everything feel believable in a science fiction film. 

1. Mark Rylance, Bones and All

In one of his best performances to date, Mark Rylance stars as one of the eaters in Bones and All. Rylance’s Sully only feeds on people as they are dying and steals every scene. Rylance has intense chemistry with Taylor Russell that feels tangible as you watch them on screen together. He’s an enigmatic figure who speaks in the third person with a squeaky voice and a Southern accent you’ll never forget. The performance could be ‘camp’ to some, but it truly is a terrifying turn in a haunting film.  

Kenzie Vanunu
she/her @kenzvanunu
Lives in LA with her husband, daughter and dog. Misses Arclight, loves iced vanilla coffees.
Favorite Director: Darren Aronofsky
Sign: Capricorn

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