If initial reactions to the big-budget wartime epic -- which is released this week -- are anything to go by, Styles may be about to join a select club that includes David Bowie and Mark Wahlberg as rare exceptions to the rule.
The One Direction singer plays a teenage British soldier desperate to escape northern France in 1940 as German troops push the Allies into the sea.
"Harry put in an amazing performance," said the film's British director Christopher Nolan, the man behind some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.
"He very much earned his seat at the table and did a wonderful job," the maker of "Interstellar", "Inception" and "The Dark Knight" told AFP.
Critics canvassed after its red-carpet premiere this weekend were also pleasantly surprised by how well the pop star did, with one tweeting "Harry Styles can act!"
The 23-year-old singer trained with the film's stunt crew before the arduous shoot on the same beaches from which 338,000 British, French and Canadian troops were evacuated despite constant shelling and bombing raids in the nine days that became known as the "Miracle of Dunkirk".