The world lost a bright young talent with the untimely passing of the wide-eyed actor Anton Yelchin.

Here we'll take a look at five key performances from the 27-year-old's relatively short, but hugely accomplished, career.

Alpha Dog (2007)

Following several remarkably composed childhood performances in movies like Along Came A Spider and Hearts In Atlantis, Yelchin transitioned into more adult roles with his sensitive turn as a teenager caught up in events beyond his control in this Hollywood drama inspired by real events.

Yelchin more than holds his own amongst a notably forceful bunch of performances from older co-stars Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Justin Timberlake. And Harry Dean Stanton.


Star Trek (2009)

The Russian-born Yelchin became part of the blockbuster universe in taking on the role of sci-fi's most famous Russian, Pavel Chekov - "nuclear wessel" jokes and all.

The same year, he co-starred in Terminator Salvation as Kyle Reese.

With eyes as big as saucers, Yelchin brought a certain innocence to these films. He reprised Chekov in two Star Trek sequels, the second of which is released next month.

Like Crazy (2011)

Yelchin gave perhaps his most quietly intense performance yet in this largely improvised drama in which he plays a melancholic carpenter who can't decide between Jennifer Lawrence and Felicity Jones.

That would indeed be a difficult choice to make.

Odd Thomas (2013)

Although it bypassed cinemas in New Zealand, this unique sci-fi fantasy thriller served as a great example of how much a genre film can benefit from a leading man like Anton Yelchin.

Nobody would ever describe him as an alpha male, but the wry confidence with which he faced otherworldly terrors in Odd Thomas showed Yelchin to be a singular genre protagonist.

Green Room (2016)

Yelchin deservedly received great notices earlier this year for his performance in this searing indie thriller, the film Jeremy Saunier chose to make after the breakout success of his 2013 film, Blue Ruin.

Yet to be released in New Zealand, Green Room is a devastating slow-burner which benefits to no end from Yelchin's subtle lead performance as a musician facing unspeakable horrors after playing a gig for a bunch of skinheads.

The film demonstrates Yelchin's commitment to choosing roles in interesting films instead of simply coasting on his blockbuster status.

Yelchin's presence in the film, along with that of his Fright Night co-star Imogen Poots, undoubtedly helped Green Room get made, and it's sad to think of all the future projects that won't benefit from his thoughtfulness.