Top 10 Performances that Defied Expectations

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  • Published on Aug 3, 2015
  • There's ordinary and then there are these. Join www.WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for Top 10 Out of the Ordinary Performances. For this list, we’re looking at actors who appear in a role vastly different from their usual performances. If you want to see actors who went on to do similar roles afterwards, check out our list for Top 10 Actors Who Broke Type-Casting.
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Comments • 2 930

  • Mellissa Cross
    Mellissa Cross 3 days ago

    I am a big Wes Anderson, Aronofsky, and PT Anderson fan. I consider that an illustration as someone with could taste in great films. Yet for the life of me, I don't understand why so many people pan Butterfly Effect. I think it is a fresh idea, well acted, edited in a non-chronological manner which at the time was reserved for people like Tarantino and Shyamalan. I really enjoy that film.

  • Eric Garcia
    Eric Garcia 3 days ago

    How can you not have Robin Williams playing a killer at #1...not even an honorable mention?

  • Tristin Wombacher
    Tristin Wombacher 4 days ago

    Umm...also Brian Cranston from Malcolm in the Middle to Breaking Bad...hello?? Lol

  • vincent fave
    vincent fave 5 days ago

    Kercher also suck as Steve Jobs

  • blackiesun
    blackiesun 5 days ago

    Ralph Fiennes was also in a romantic comedy with Jennifer Lopez - that movie you showed isn't his only light-hearted one! The leading role in a romantic comedy with J Lo isn't exactly the role you'd imagine for him - more so than the one you showed. I'd say it was vastly more different than his usual roles.

  • Terence Hikawai
    Terence Hikawai 8 days ago

    umm.. Henry Fonder?

  • AgainstAllOdds96
    AgainstAllOdds96 9 days ago +1

    I didn't know Voldemort was a Nazi... then again that doesn't surprise me

  • Dhirendra Nath Biswas
    Dhirendra Nath Biswas 15 days ago

    It's really true!!! I really shocked when Tom Cruise's name appeared in the closing scene of Tropic Thunder.

  • Barbara Vela
    Barbara Vela 16 days ago

    In my opinion, Michael B. Jordan as N'Jadaka/Erik Stevens/Killmonger in Black Panther defied my expectations. I didn't even knew about the character and i though that he would come and go away. But his performance was very good, and there are even moments where you agree with his ideals.

  • j.p. lembach
    j.p. lembach 16 days ago

    And what about ben kingsley in ghandi ????????????????

  • sportshistorybuff
    sportshistorybuff 19 days ago

    Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption and that horror movie where he was seeing scary things, got buried in a coffin with a spider.

  • Luz Vargas
    Luz Vargas 20 days ago

    No, You área not the only one ...l liked the movie and was surprised the dude was really acting...

  • Chill Dude
    Chill Dude 22 days ago +1

    Steve carell's performance in Foxcatcher was mind blowing !!

  • Joe Rice
    Joe Rice Month ago

    The detox scene... way too close to home

  • Evan Peltier
    Evan Peltier Month ago

    Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. 🍔💉💼

  • Sam Scott
    Sam Scott Month ago

    Adam sandler in reign over me

  • Arnor Johannesspn
    Arnor Johannesspn Month ago

    Heath ledger should be one this list and should by number 1

  • shakesisdead ya-cunts

    bleeping "fuck" but not "cunt", I like it

  • Jebeliddat
    Jebeliddat Month ago

    yo butterfly effect was a great movie
    edit: it got 33 % of rotten tomatoes holy shit lol but that shit sure was good when me and my buddies watched it high

  • Tere Rañada
    Tere Rañada Month ago

    For sylvester stallone in comedy, i prefer "Oscar."

  • Si Regan
    Si Regan Month ago

    How about this...Ryan Reynolds in Buried? Until then I'd always thought of him as a passable comedic actor but he delivered a powerhouse performance in that

  • Dillon Messick
    Dillon Messick Month ago

    What about steve Carrel l in little Mrs sunshine.

  • Michael Gomez
    Michael Gomez Month ago

    I think Adam Sandler played a better serious role in Reign Over Me...why doesn't anyone talk about that movie???

    • Quadry Johnson
      Quadry Johnson Month ago

      That movie is so sad. One of his best movies ever.

  • CMerritts90
    CMerritts90 Month ago

    Michael Keaton for Batman!! Heath Ledger as the Joker in the Dark Knight.

  • Scott F.
    Scott F. Month ago

    When you say Steve Carell's Dramatic debut was Foxfire in 2014, Is that your secret code for "Steve Carell made his drama debut as Frank Ginsberg in the 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine"? Or are you blanking that one, as well as "Dan in Real Life", which was released in 2007?

  • Tony Maxwell
    Tony Maxwell Month ago

    Big oversight w/ Val Kilmer - he was hilarious in 'Top Secret' long before his role in 'MacGruber''

  • Skyla 2000
    Skyla 2000 Month ago

    One of the greatest movie quotes ever
    "Take a big step back and FUCK YOUR OWN FACE!!!!!" 😂😂😂

  • Jacob Staten
    Jacob Staten Month ago

    Foxcatcher could have been really good if they edited it for pacing.

  • mlkoenen
    mlkoenen Month ago

    Will Ferrell was far better and more moving in Stranger Than Fiction.

  • Amber Renee Graves
    Amber Renee Graves Month ago

    These aren't defying performances. These are actors that broke typecast.

  • The Amazing Spider Wuss

    Where is Heath Ledger’s joker, or Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh?

  • Gnarly Nollie
    Gnarly Nollie Month ago

    Can't say "Fuck your own face" without bleeps but can totally say "Snap your dick off and jam it in your ass" with no bleeps. Kay.

  • cheetah2thedeath
    cheetah2thedeath 2 months ago

    I never knew that was tom cruise!!!

  • Raeburn Oliver
    Raeburn Oliver 2 months ago

    As if they censored fuck and not cunt 😂

  • spizal
    spizal 2 months ago

    Val Kilmer Top Secret! and Real Genius

  • JM A
    JM A 2 months ago

    Steve carrel(i dunno) is now a great serious actor

  • Elisha Singh
    Elisha Singh 2 months ago

    Heath Ledger as Joker is a major omission
    Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote should top this list
    Tim Robbins in Arlington Road was chilling
    Robert De Niro in Hide and Seek

  • Matt Drummond
    Matt Drummond 2 months ago +1

    Macgruber is fucking hilarious

  • Todd Jones
    Todd Jones 2 months ago

    Steve Carell as Dupont seems more like just a slightly tweaked Brick Tamland.

  • Jennifer Evans
    Jennifer Evans 2 months ago

    Val Kilmer was in Top Secret one of the best spoof movies ever made!

  • Simon Grinchpan
    Simon Grinchpan 2 months ago

    lmfaoooo Val Kilmer did Top Secret wayyyyyy before Magruber

  • TheDaveMaybe
    TheDaveMaybe 2 months ago

    Everything Must Go is a masterpiece, and Ferrell deserved an Oscar nom!

  • ProfessorM.
    ProfessorM. 2 months ago

    hoffman always plays serious roles tho

  • GonzaleeENTERTAINMENT The_KC_Suge

    Val Kilmer? Are you forgetting he did silly in Top Secret!?

  • lukkash
    lukkash 2 months ago

    Michael J Fox was inserted at the beginning in simple and shallow roles so couldn’t show his full potential. This is also in other cases of actors like Will Ferrell here.

  • Bam bam Banuelos
    Bam bam Banuelos 2 months ago

    🦊 catcher was superb.

  • Jeremy Charlie
    Jeremy Charlie 2 months ago

    David Schwimmer as Duane Hopwood and the main character in Big Nothing, were good.

  • marley92282
    marley92282 2 months ago

    Oh god, Ralph Fiennes is an absolute orgasm. Grand Budapest Hotel is magnificent.

  • Kev10 Countdown
    Kev10 Countdown 2 months ago

    Mo’nique - Precious

  • Jake K
    Jake K 2 months ago

    Anyone else find it mad that they bleeped out the F word but still allowed cunt and retard in...

  • Ty_GH _
    Ty_GH _ 3 months ago

    Heith Ledger was doubted for the role of joker because of movies like a nights tale. But it’s probably the greatest performance ever so why aint he on there

  • John Carroll
    John Carroll 3 months ago

    Ralph Fiennes in 'In Bruges'

  • Victor Emanuel
    Victor Emanuel 3 months ago

    Steve Carrel
    Miss sunshine??

  • riley merrington
    riley merrington 3 months ago

    The Butterfly Effect was fucking mint

  • MoMo Melon
    MoMo Melon 3 months ago

    Arnold swartznegger in Twins? Him playing a pregnant man is hilarious.....wait is that the same movie...

  • Dylan
    Dylan 3 months ago

    when the f word is censored but the c word isn't

  • Set Fire to the Whole Damn House

    so ignorant. it actually takes a lot of skill to so comedy and "lighthearted roles," not the other way around.

  • MrFlipperInvader792
    MrFlipperInvader792 3 months ago

    I think Carell broke typecasting with foxcatcher

  • Willie Playz
    Willie Playz 3 months ago

    WHERE HEATH LEDGER AT BOY

  • Chelsea Jones
    Chelsea Jones 3 months ago

    I loved the butterfly effect , for the first time I thought Aston was actually good in something

  • Soph side
    Soph side 3 months ago

    I thought Ashton did great in the bitter effect

  • IHS
    IHS 3 months ago

    The fact that most people had no idea Tom Cruise was actually Les Grossman is enough in and of itself to earn him the first spot, but the fact that his acting was also brilliant and hilarious just puts him over the edge. The fact, however, that Heath Ledger didn't make this list as nr. 2 is dumbfounding, a rom-com actor who was considered a risky pick for the movie absolutely stole the entire movie with his performance, and even the Oscar (which again, is more than enough for him to be a solid 2nd place, if not first - as opposed to not even an honorable mention (wtf???)).

  • Thomas Byers
    Thomas Byers 3 months ago

    Val Kilmer did Real Genius and Top Secret! which were Comedy movies. Comedy was going back to earlier roles.

  • Thomas Reilly
    Thomas Reilly 3 months ago

    One time out of genre roles? Kilmer... Real Genius

  • Ben Warner
    Ben Warner 3 months ago

    I didn’t hate the butterfly effect

  • H Mel
    H Mel 3 months ago

    Fox catcher was awesome

  • TheEnd
    TheEnd 3 months ago

    the thumbnail is never in the clip. No pun intended

  • Matthew Ozuna
    Matthew Ozuna 3 months ago

    If you’re not gonna put Adam Sandler for punch drunk love on the list at least make him an honorable mention

  • Chris Topher
    Chris Topher 3 months ago

    I liked The Butterfly Effect. Thought it was one of his better movies.

  • David Hyslop
    David Hyslop 3 months ago

    Wrong. Jason Bateman, the kingdom.

  • Volcy Thoughts
    Volcy Thoughts 3 months ago

    Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine
    Heath Ledger in Dark Knight
    Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls

  • Tushar Sharma
    Tushar Sharma 3 months ago

    Fuck off watcmojo where is Heath ledger

  • Mousita Mousita
    Mousita Mousita 3 months ago

    That was like really rude about Val Kilmer

  • Anders Hansen
    Anders Hansen 3 months ago

    I still find it hard to believe that Les Grosman was Tom Cruise.

  • andrew ferg
    andrew ferg 3 months ago

    "Oh OK Flaming Dragon... fuck face"

  • IMDLEGEND
    IMDLEGEND 3 months ago

    Robert Downey Jr should have been there for Tropic Thunder also. Although I know he has done comedy before, but nothing like this!

  • PantherusNZ
    PantherusNZ 3 months ago

    I really enjoyed the Butterfly Effect - I thought it was a good depiction of time manipulation. Just wish they'd stuck with the original theatrical ending, not the one that went to DVD.

  • John Veitch
    John Veitch 3 months ago

    5:58 they bleeped out the F word but not the C word? What is this, the Swear Box from Hot Fuzz?

  • Broccoli Ninja
    Broccoli Ninja 3 months ago

    What about breaking bad, Aaron Paul ? His performance was fantastic

  • Vincent Matlock
    Vincent Matlock 3 months ago

    Lmao oh shit, idek that was Tom cruise this whole time.

  • Vince William
    Vince William 3 months ago

    It shoulda been robert downey jr instead of tom cruise he played 2 or 3 different people.

  • Justin Cox
    Justin Cox 3 months ago

    Tom Cruise as a villain in Collateral would be a better choice

  • Avengers Endgame
    Avengers Endgame 3 months ago +1

    I have and always will believe Thar Steve Carrell is the best actors in history!!

  • Jeremiah Krug
    Jeremiah Krug 3 months ago

    Jonah hill as Peter Brand in Moneyball

  • I AM BAYTOR
    I AM BAYTOR 4 months ago

    Tropic Thunder saved Tom Cruise's career.

  • You're Right
    You're Right 4 months ago

    Foxcatcher was a really good movie. The story is insane and shows just how money can cover up insanity and totally fucked up behaviors.

  • Jericho
    Jericho 4 months ago

    Donnie Wahlberg in Dreamcatcher.

  • 1000 volts of truth BS buster

    How do u bring up the movie Tropic Thunder and not give the best role to Robert Downy Jr. For ghod sakes he played a black guy in that movie..

  • Carlo Javier
    Carlo Javier 4 months ago

    shoulda used Stranger Than Fiction for Will Ferrell

  • blexys Niz
    blexys Niz 4 months ago +1

    you guys talk a lot like we are so stupid to understand, you screw every scene with your ugly voice, ok we got it we are not dumb, it's crystal clear TOP 10 Perf that Defied expectations, let us enjoy the scenes

  • Mark Ukrainetz
    Mark Ukrainetz 4 months ago

    Will Smith in Six Degrees of Separation. best performance to date.

  • Mark Ukrainetz
    Mark Ukrainetz 4 months ago

    I thought Steve Carrell was going to win the Oscar for Foxcatcher.

  • Jamal Vargas
    Jamal Vargas 4 months ago

    Stone cold the condemned OK film

  • Annika Pearson
    Annika Pearson 4 months ago

    So we are just gonna forget Philip Seymour Hoffman in Capote? okay.

  • Rheanon Jasmyne
    Rheanon Jasmyne 4 months ago

    NO no no , Kilmer was BEST " I'm your Huckleberry" !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jalen Byon
    Jalen Byon 4 months ago

    What rock did they find this narrator underneath? 2:00 how are you handed a script and still say Ray?

  • scottieman2
    scottieman2 4 months ago

    The butterfly effect wasn't bad. Not the greatest movie but you know good movie to watch once in awhile.

  • Andrew Hanna
    Andrew Hanna 4 months ago

    where is jason statham in SPY !!!

  • Toner C.
    Toner C. 4 months ago

    Really confused why the list is defied expectations but then you said people hated Butterfly effect and he shouldn't try sci? Why was he on the list then? Did you accidentally add it to the wrong damn list like broke type cast? Lol

  • constantdoodle
    constantdoodle 4 months ago

    I loved batman forever as a kid. Yall can suck muh bawlz