Movies & TV / Columns

The 411 Movie/TV Year-End Awards: Part Eight – The Best Film Actor of 2015

January 19, 2016 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

The 411 Movie & TV Year-End Awards continue! Over the next week we are continuing our look at the greatest in television and film for 2015. Each day will have a topic that the 411 staff will have the opportunity to provide a top 5 for. In the end the rankings are compiled for the final 411 top 5 list in that category. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Michael Ornelas

5. Sylvester Stallone – Creed
4. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
3. Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight/Infinitely Polar Bear
2. Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

1. Jason Segel – The End of the Tour: This couldn’t have been anyone else for me. I’ve always liked Jason Segel, but I never thought him to be anything more than a talented comedic actor. Well he brought David Foster Wallace back to life in The End of the Tour, one of my personal favorite films of the year, and took a great script and made it even better with his portrayal. Many of the film’s themes resonated with me personally which is why I liked the movie so much, and all of that was on Segel’s shoulders. Jesse Eisenberg definitely carried his weight, but Segel’s nuances were a spot-on representation of DFW and made every line not just mean something from their contents, but from the emotions behind them as well.

Joseph Lee

5. Walton Goggins – The Hateful Eight
4. Mark Duplass – Creep
3. Richard Jenkins – Bone Tomahawk
2. Sylvester Stallone – Creed

1. Michael B. Jordan – Creed: I don’t think anyone expected Creed to be as good as it was, but here we are. Michael B. Jordan has always been a good actor and it was nice to see him rise from the ashes of Fantastic Four to show he’s in no way part of that movie’s failure. He played Apollo Creed’s son almost exactly as you’d expect, and yet there was a lot of subtext and layers to the performance that make it more than its script would suggest. I’m sure people may want Creed to become its own franchise, but I’m just happy we have the first one. The more we redeem the Rocky universe after Rocky V, the better.

Wednesday Lee Friday

5. Corey Hawkins – Straight Outta Compton
4. O’Shea Jackson – Straight Outta Compton
3. Matt Damon – The Martian
2. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

1. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl: As usual, Redmayne has dashed expectations and blown minds playing a transgendered person long before anyone was even using the word. There are no words to describe the sublime performances in this film. Just see it.

Bryan Kristopowitz

5. Paul McGinnis – Killer Rack
4. Colin Firth – Kingsman: the Secret Service
3. Ray Wise – Digging Up the Marrow
2. Adam green – Digging Up the Marrow

1. Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road: What’s interesting about Tom Hardy’s performance in Fury Road is that he isn’t really allowed to be a badass until half the movie is over. So until around the halfway point you have to watch Hardy’s Mad Max as a prisoner at the mercy of his weird beard psycho captors. Is that any way to introduce your main action hero in your big budget reboot/sequel/whatever the hell it is? It wouldn’t seem so. And yet Hardy pulls it off and makes the situation work. You’re behind him from the second you see him, and you’re on the edge of your seat wondering when the heck is he going to break out and fight back? When he does break free and start fighting it’s a revelation. Hardy had to keep Max interesting until that time. That’s top notch acting. Theron deserves all of the notice she’s received for her role as Furiosa, but Hardy deserves just as much. He’s just as good.

Aaron Hubbard

Disclaimer: I haven’t seen movies like The Hateful Eight and The Revenant which might have made this list but didn’t because I can’t judge them yet.
5. Jason Bateman – The Gift
4. Sylvestor Stallone – Creed
3. Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
2. Jason Segal – The End of the Tour

1. Michael B Jordan – Creed: There were better performers in 2015, to be sure, but this was the one that stood out the most for me because it made me realize that Michael B. Jordan is going to be one of the next great actors in Hollywood. He was put in a high pressure situation and delivered incredibly well. I can’t wait to see more from him.

Steve Gustafson

5. Matt Damon – The Martian
4. Will Smith – Concussion
3. Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
2. Michael B. Jordan – Creed

1. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant: Leo always brings it. By now we’ve heard all about his ordeal making this movie and the extreme conditions he put himself in. Knowing all that, it’s still breathtaking to watch on the screen. He’s a master craftsman and this role, this dedication, put him over the top.

Jeremy Thomas

5. Steve Carell – The Big Short
4. Michael B. Jordan – Creed
3. Sylvester Stallone – Creed
2. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

1. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs: Michael Fassbender has been one of the top names in Hollywood for a little while now, but he truly shows just how good he can be in Steve Jobs. It’s a difficult thing to play a real-life person who you look very little like, and it would be a major distraction in Danny Boyle’s film if Fassbender’s performance didn’t completely make you forget the fact. It’s not easy to play an inherently-unlikable character and make him sympathetic, but Fassbender finds the humanity in the cracks of his cold facade. His chemistry with all of the cast is off the charts, particularly Kate Winslet and Perla Haney-Jardine. Fassbender found a way to balance the humanity of Jobs with how terrible of a person he could be, providing perhaps the most nuanced and complex performance of the year. It’s unfortunate that Steve Jobs didn’t catch on well enough to be the awards contender it should have been, but there is no denying for me that the lead actor gave the best male acting performance of the year.


5. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs (7 points)

4. Jason Segal – The End of the Tour (9 points)

3. Sylvester Stallone – Creed (10 points)

2. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant (11 points)

1. Michael B. Jordan – Creed (16 points)


* Best Television Actress: Krysten Ritter – Jessica Jones
* Best Television Actor: Vincent D’Onofrio – Daredevil
* Best New Television Show: Better Call Saul
* Best Television Comedy: Ash vs. Evil Dead
* Best Television Drama: Hannibal
* Most Anticipated 2016 Show: The X-Files

* Best Film Actress: Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road
* Best Film Actor: Michael B. Jordan – Creed
* Best Comedic Film: TO BE DETERMINED (January 20th)
* Best Dramatic Film: TO BE DETERMINED (January 21st)
* Best Blockbuster: TO BE DETERMINED (January 22nd)
* Most Anticipated 2016 Film: TO BE DETERMINED (January 23rd)