These Are Jon Bernthal’s Best Performances, Ranked

Jon Bernthal has had a steady climb in his career since his appearance in The Walking Dead. He’s worked with many acclaimed directors, like Edgar Wright in Baby DriverMartin Scorsese in The Wolf of Wall Streetand Taylor Sheridan in Wind river. In all of these films, Bernthal has played characters who are rough and tough. In fact, his most recent film King Richard – which stars Will Smith as Richard Williams and tells the true story of his dedication to his daughters Venus and Serena as they climb the ranks in the tennis world – Bernthal actually plays a “sweetie-pie” character. It’s a testament to his talents, to be sure.

Most notably, Bernthal rose to fame thanks to his nuanced performance as Frank Castle (AKA The Punisher), first in Netflix’s Daredevil series, opposite Charlie Cox, and then in his own solo series The Punisher. While the Marvel shows have left Netflixthere have been recent rumors of a new Punisher series coming to Hulu. As the best Frank Castle / The Punisher the world has ever seen, it would make sense for Bernthal to return to the character, especially since other Netflix characters – like Cox’s Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin – have recently returned since their show’s cancellation. Bernthal himself has expressed interest in returning to the MCU. As we await more details on the rumored series, here’s a look at Jon Bernthal’s best performances, ranked.

Related: These Are Jon Bernthal’s Best Moments as The Punisher

8 Baby Driver

baby driver

Jon Bernthal starred in Baby Driver, which was directed by Edgar Wright. Asnel Elgort plays Baby, the lead, who is a getaway driver who is forced to partake in a heist after his girlfriend is threatened if he refuses. It’s a great movie with carefully constructed music choices and directorial decisions. Bernthal stars as Griff, who is a member of the heist crew and even though it’s a smaller role, he still commands the screen.

7 Wind river

wind river

Wind river is a 2017 neo-western murder mystery film, written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. The film follows Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) who is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on a reservation in Wyoming. This leads to an FBI investigation which unravels a lot of mystery. Jon Bernthal has a small role as Matt, and he is able to have a strong presence even in a smaller role.

6 The Peanut Butter Falcon

peanut butter falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon is a 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz. The film was their directorial debut and featured performances from Shia LaBeouf, Zack Gottsagen, Dakota Johnson, Bruce Dern and Thomas Haden Church. The plot follows a young man who has Down syndrome, who escapes from an assisted living facility and befriends a fisherman who is on the run (Shia LaBeouf). The two build a quick bond as a social worker (played by Johnson) attempts to track them down. Jon Bernthal plays Mark, who appears in flashback form throughout as a character from Tyler’s past, and adds a layer on sentimentality to the film.

5 The Wolf of Wall Street

wolf of wall street

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 black-comedy film which was directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Terence Winter. The film is based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, recounting his career as a stockbroker in New York, and how his firm engaged in corruption which resulted in his downfall. Leonardo DiCaprio took the leading role, and the film also featured performances from Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, and Kyle Chandler. It was massively successful, becoming one of the highest grossing films of 2013. Jon Bernthal plays Brad Bodrick, a drug dealer and friend of Jordan Belfort. His performance is humorous and blends well with the rest of the cast.

4 The Walking Dead

walking dead

The Walking Dead was responsible for projecting Jon Bernthal onto a global success scale for his role as Shane. The series is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The series follows a group of survivors who are attempting to survive a zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead ran for 11 seasons from 2010 and is set to conclude in 2022. The series also spanned spin off shows and was a huge success. Jon Bernthal plays Shane Walsh, who is a rival to the protagonist, Rick. He was a huge part of the show’s success, and the role gained him international recognition.

Related: Best Zombie TV Series, Ranked

3 The Punisher

the punisher

Jon Bernthal would take the leading role in The Punisher, which is a television series streamed on Netflix which is based on the Marvel comic book character of the same name. The series was created by Steve Lightfoot, and is a continuation of other additions to the Marvel universe and is a spin-off of Marvel’s Daredevil. He stars in the main role as Frank Castle who is trying to avenge his family that have been taken from him. The tone of the series is gritter than most marvel series, which is amplified by Bernthal’s acting techniques as he embodies the darker character easily.

2 Daredevil


Daredevil is another Marvel Netflix show which follows the story of Lawyer / vigilante, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) who has superpowers through heightened senses after an accident left him blind when he was younger, and he then utilizes these skills for good. Jon Bernthal joins the second season as Frank Castle, introducing the character before The Punisher series, and is great for Marvel fans.

1 King Richard

King Richard Takes Jon Bernthal from Tough Guy to Sweetie-Pie

King Richard is a 2021 biographical drama film directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green. The film is focused on the life of Richard Williams, who was the father and coach of Venus and Serena Williams. The film stars Will Smith in the titular role and has been very successful throughout awards seasons, earning 6 nominations. Bernthal plays Rick Macci, who helped coach Venus and Serena. It’s an excellent performance and he keeps up with the rest of the cast.

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