Whether you’re a Marvel superfan or a sucker for a rom-com, Hollywood’s biggest movie stars play a huge part in the world’s most iconic films. But have you ever wondered which actors have the best track record when it comes to success, and whose performance is on the decline?
Entertainment experts at MrQ have analysed 92 of 2022’s highest-grossing actors to find out how good they really are, revealing their average IMDb scores across all of their acting work, as well as IMDb votes. In addition, the data tracks historic performance, to determine which stars are getting better or worse over time, as well as at what age their careers peaked.
So, how do your favourite actors compare?
The top 10 best performing actors based on the average IMDb score include:
|Rank||Actor||Avg. IMDb score||No. of media starred in||Age at Peak|
Scottish actor Rose Leslie takes the top spot with her work scoring an average IMDb score of 7.35. She’s best known for her performance in Game of Thrones alongside now-husband Kit Harington (as well as 10th place John Bradley), but has also more recently been in the TV show The Time Traveler’s Wife and Death on the Nile.
Second position goes to Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, whose top-rated media are all actually music videos - for The Aubreys, Pup, Ninja Sex Party, and Calpurnia, with ongoing Stranger Things as his highest-rated show at 8.7.
Other actors in the top 10 include Lauren Ridloff, from The Walking Dead and recent Marvel film The Eternals, as well as both halves of the comedy duo French and Saunders. Four out of the top ten have also been in a Marvel film - Ridloff, Letitia Wright, Richard Madden and Simu Liu.
Out of the 92 actors analysed, these are the top 10 worst performing ones, based on their average IMDb score:
|Rank||Actor||Avg. IMDb score||No. of media performed in||Age at Peak|
|4||Ana de Armas||5.96||30||22|
|9||Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges||6.13||86||43|
Still early in her acting career, Lia McHugh’s filmography suffers from some lower scores, and while she had a role in high-scoring A Haunting (with an IMDb score of 8.0), her centre-stage role in The Eternals didn’t manage to achieve more than a 6.4, and her more recent film A House on the Bayou sank further to 5.4.
Fan Bingbing’s wide filmography of 58 different films and shows fail to bring her average score higher than 5.85, with the best media she had a role in being 2010’s Sacrifice, which still scored only 6.2 on IMDb.
Third-lowest is Mark Wahlberg, whose broad career ranges from music as Markie Mark through to recent films like Uncharted and Transformers, but his overall IMDb score averages out to only 5.95.
Going from strength to strength, Lupita Nyong’o ranked as the most improved actor in the analysis, increasing her IMDb score across the decades by an average of 26%
Not every film can be a hit, with some being slightly more disappointing than others. But which star has shown that practice makes perfect, and has seen an improvement in their films across the years?
Looking at each actor’s filmography, the study shows how average IMDb scores have improved or worsened for each actor.
|Rank||Actor||Improvement in performance (%)|
While her overall average IMDb score was a relatively mid-range 6.73, Lupita Nyong’o’s improvement over the years was the strongest, with her score increasing from an average of only 4.45 in the 2000s through to 7.08 in the 2010s. Despite a fall again to 6.53 in the 2020s thus far, her award wins also indicate she’s going from strength to strength.
Elizabeth Debicki is the next actor to watch out for, with her average IMDb score increasing by nearly 13% since her first average taken in the 2010s at 6.59. Jennifer Lopez comes in third with a 12.7% increase in her performance throughout her career.
The stars whose performance has deteriorated the most throughout their career
|Rank||Actor||Improvement in performance (%)|
|3||Ella Jay Basco||-12.29%|
Known for her “tough” roles, particularly in the Fast & Furious franchise, Michelle Rodriguez’ career has seen the steepest downturn, with her projects in the 2020s dropping to an average of 4.7 on IMDb compared with a stronger showing of 6.31 in the 2000s and 6.34 in the 2010s.
Fan Bingbing, in second place, not only suffered from low average IMDb scores overall but also a decline over time, while Ella Jay Basco has seen a steady decline from an average of 7.8 in the 2000s through to 6.0 in the 2020s.
And despite a high average score, John Bradley’s strong showings in Game of Thrones, Shameless and Conan in the 2010s has suffered from lower scores for Marry Me and Moonfall in the 2020s.
Peak Ages: when do actors reach their best scores?
Looking at the top IMDb score for each actor, and the age at which those films, TV shows, and projects were released, the age at which performers on average hit their peak is 34.
And despite differences in standards for age in Hollywood stars across genders, the average peak score for women is 32.8 and not that much higher at 35.4 for men.
The youngest peaks covered in the research were for Lia McHugh and Ella Jay Basco, both at 11, while the oldest was Jim Carrey at 60.
Awards Season: Nominations versus wins, the actors with the best and worst success rate
From the Golden Globes to the Oscars, winning an award is an indicator and celebration of great performances in film and television. But how do they compare to each actor's IMDb performance scores?
We analysed award nominations versus wins for the actors who have been nominated for 35 awards and more, to reveal who has the best success rate:
|Rank||Actor||No. of award wins||No. of award nominations||% of awards won vs nominated|
The top performer when it comes to winning awards is Harrison Ford, notably known for his roles in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, winning more than half (51.16%) of all awards he is nominated for.
The 39-year-old Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar in 2014 for her work in 12 Years a Slave takes second place, has won 99 of the total 207 awards she’s been nominated for. German-American actor Diane Kruger rounds off the top three, with a success rate of 47.22%.
Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson, who have made headlines recently for their work in Spider-Man and Batman, respectively, come in fourth and fifth place. Holland has won 43.14% of all awards, including the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2017, and Pattinson 39.52% of all awards he’s been up for.
While numerous actors have failed to win any awards for their nominations, when examining the actors who have the lowest success rate for awards, Kumail Nanjiani takes the top spot. Known for his comedy TV series Silicon Valley, Nanjiani has won just 8.70% of the awards he’s been nominated for.
With still eight years left of the 2020s, which actors will we see shine through this decade, and which will see a performance decline?