The Best Paul Mescal Movies and TV shows, Ranked

Paul Mescal is an Irish actor who rose to fame in the BBC’s adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People, before starring in some of Britain’s best independent feature films. Prior to the small-screen, Mescal was a regular in Dublin’s theatre scene, before he stunned audiences with his performance of Connell Waldron in the 2020 miniseries. Read on to discover more of Mescal’s filmography and where to stream each film and TV series now.

For his breakout role, alongside Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne, Mescal won a BAFTA for Best Actor and secured a Primetime Emmy nomination. Since then, Mescal has delivered an array of mesmerizing performances with critics praising the actor for the nuance he provides to his characters’ emotional vulnerability.

In 2021, the actor made his feature film debut in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter, which received Academy Award nominations for its lead actresses Olivia Coleman and Jesse Buckley.

Arguably though, it was his performance as a young troubled father in Charlotte Wells’ coming of age drama After Sun that has become his standout role. After its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the small budget feature ($8 million) went on to receive four BAFTA nominations, while Mescal was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

For such a revered actor, Mescal boasts a small, but impressive filmography. In 2022, Mescal also starred in the well-received psychological drama God’s Creatures and in the indie musical drama Carmen. Before he co-starred with Saoirse Ronan in the science fiction thriller, Foe based on Iain Reid’s 2018 novel of the same name.

Most recently, Mescal appeared alongside Fleabag’s Andrew Scott in the fantasy romance All of Us Strangers, based on Taichi Yamada’s book of the same name. The poignant film which follows these two strangers in a near-abandoned apartment building in London, has received rave reviews since its debut at the 50th Telluride Film Festival and secured Mescal another BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

With the high caliber of Mescal’s work, it’s difficult to rank each of his performances. However, for his time in the Ireland-based miniseries, Normal People has to be at the top of this list, followed swiftly by the heart-breaking All of Us Strangers and After Sun.

Mescal is also set to star in the titular role as Lucius in Ridley Scott’s epic historical drama, Gladiator 2, the sequel to the smash-hit Gladiator, which was the second highest-grossing film of 2000. Ahead of the arrival of that iconic film’s sequel, here’s every Paul Mescal performance ranked and where to watch them.

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  1. Normal People

    Normal People

    2020

    IMDB 8.4 (87k)

    #1

    Marianne and Connell weave in and out of each other’s lives in this exploration of sex, power and the desire to love and be loved.

  2. All of Us Strangers

    All of Us Strangers

    2023

    IMDB 7.9 (20k)

    #2

    One night in his near-empty tower block in contemporary London, Adam has a chance encounter with a mysterious neighbor Harry, which punctures the rhythm of his everyday life. As a relationship develops between them, Adam is preoccupied with memories of the past and finds himself drawn back to the suburban town where he grew up, and the childhood home where his parents appear to be living, just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before.

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  3. Aftersun

    Aftersun

    2022

    IMDB 7.6 (88k)

    #3

    Sophie reflects on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier. Memories real and imagined fill the gaps between miniDV footage as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn't.

  4. The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    2021

    IMDB 6.7 (74k)

    #4

    A woman's seaside vacation takes a dark turn when her obsession with a young mother forces her to confront secrets from her past.

  5. The Deceived

    The Deceived

    2020

    IMDB 5.9 (2k)

    #5

    English student Ophelia falls in love with her married lecturer, seeing in him all the answers to her needs. When their affair is interrupted by a shocking and tragic death, Ophelia finds herself trapped in a world where she can no longer trust her own mind.

  6. God's Creatures

    God's Creatures

    2022

    IMDB 6.0 (3k)

    #6

    In a windswept fishing village, a mother is torn between protecting her beloved son and her own sense of right and wrong. A lie she tells for him rips apart their family and close-knit community.

  7. Carmen

    Carmen

    2022

    IMDB 6.2

    #7

    In a small Mediterranean village, Carmen has looked after her brother, the local priest, for her entire life. When the Church abandons Carmen, she is mistaken for the new priest. Carmen begins to see the world, and herself, in a new light.

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  8. Foe

    Foe

    2023

    IMDB 5.4 (8k)

    #8

    Henrietta and Junior farm a secluded piece of land that has been in Junior's family for generations, but their quiet life is thrown into turmoil when an uninvited stranger shows up at their door with a startling proposal. Will they risk their relationship & personal identity for a chance to survive in a new world?