As we all well know, child actors SUCK. It’s not their fault, acting is difficult and when you’re at a young age it’s hard to pull it off, do well, and deliver amazing performances. There are lots and lots of films with horrible child actors, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some gems out there too!
Here is a list of movies which had amazing performances by children aged 16 and younger!
THIS LIST IS IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.
5) The Sixth Sense
This movie was heavily carried not just by Bruce Willis, but by the performance of his young co-star Haley Joel Osment and Cole Sear. The tension, atmosphere, and lots of the drama revolved around Osment’s character and his interactions with both the dead, Bruce Willis, and his character’s mother. He conveyed fear and did the emotional scenes with excellent power and commanded the screen when he was present.
The movie itself also benefited from having a great director and a great script, but Osment’s performance was definitely his own and he did an amazing job in this movie, especially as young as he was (11 years old).
I had my reserves about Interstellar and personally parts of the story did not impress me. However with that being said, I am not going to deny its cinematography and visual excellence along with its wonderful score and great actors. All the actors did a great job in their roles, especially with young Murph played by Mackenzie Foy. Foy was only 14 at the time and she delivered a performance that rivaled her co-stars Anne Hathaway and Matthew McCounaghey.
I know Christopher Nolan to be one of the many masters of the film making craft so I had faith that whatever actor he may choose in the part of a young character, that actor would do a fabulous job. Mackenzie Foy had many emotional powerhouse moments and she delivered every single time on screen. She really made the heartbreak and sense of splendor as a child to be believable and evoked a lot of emotion within her character. It was a wonderful performance and was one of the standouts for me in this film.
3) The 400 Blows
Jean-Pierre Leaud was only 15 when he was the main role in this classic 20th century landmark piece of French cinema. The 400 Blows was a great movie and Leaud does a great job portraying a troubled youth and how misunderstood children can be. This was the start of the whole “teen angst” genre before “teen angst” even became a thing, and Doniel the main character isn’t even supposed to be a teenager.
The performance given by Jean-Pierre Leaud was excellent and it really sold the story and kept it moving. I was captivated by how well he could convey anxiety, frustration, and guilt with minimal spoken lines and even with nothing said at all.
Isn’t this any 13 year old’s dream? To play a crazy superhero with a vulgar mouth and kill as many bad guys as possible with knives and guns akimbo style? Chloe Grace Moretz could have easily made her role in Kick-Ass over the top, corny, and cheesy. There was every reason for the idea of Hit Girl to never fly on screen and yet her and along with the amazing film team behind Kick-Ass delivered an unforgettable performance and a memorable character. A force to be reckoned with and a little girl who seems cute but could annihilate an entire room of thugs armed to the teeth with nothing more than her guile and her small weaponry.
Alex Hibbert and all the actors who played Chiron equally stood out as powerful performers. For me, the most compelling segment of Moonlight was definitely Chiron as a teenager, but Hibbert’s performance in the movie was a stand out. Hibbert and Mahershala Ali both had great chemistry on screen and their scenes together were phenomenal. It really brought out an interesting dynamic and I was surprised at how well Hibbert’s performance was.
Moonlight was an amazing film and the actors were nothing other than a cut above, especially Hibbert.
What do you guys think? Agree? Disagree? Obviously, I couldn’t get every single great performance by child actors but I did my best to narrow it down to this list. Expect a part 2!