The Best Joseph Gordon-Levitt Films, Ranked


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Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt - (500) Days of Summer

Earlier this month, Amazon Prime unveiled 7500, a taunt, gripping, suspenseful one-location thriller which options an investing lead efficiency from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Following his titular flip in Oliver Stone’s underwhelming 2016 biopic, Snowden, 7500 marks the shock and welcomed return of this brilliant younger actor to moviemaking. 

Although he had some voice-only cameos in Knives Out and Star Wars: The Final Jedi, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has largely been absent from the display screen in recent times, which is a disgrace as a result of the gifted former Angels within the Outfield little one star has remained a persistently reliable film star all through the years. From studios comedies to indie dramas to thrilling motion blockbusters, Levitt has labored in varied film modes and confirmed himself time-and-time once more. With that, let’s have a look again at a few of the finest Joseph Gordon-Levitt motion pictures up to now.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson - Don Jon

10. Don Jon (2013)

Having amassed 25+ years of appearing expertise at this level, Joseph Gordon-Levitt took a step behind the digital camera together with his function screenwriting and directing debut, 2013’s Don Jon. The outcomes had been energetic, punchy, and undeniably passionate, to not point out fashionable and unexpectedly sentimental at occasions too. 

Don Jon facilities round Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt), a younger bartender in New Jersey with an overactive libido who may’ve discovered his match when he varieties a relationship with Barbara (Scarlett Johansson). Whereas not with out its broad characters and standard storytelling beats, Don Jon proved to be an admirable directorial debut and an unexpectedly charming romantic comedy/character examine that is elevated by the scorching chemistry shared between the actor-filmmaker and Johansson. Whereas it may not go on to be one among Gordon-Levitt’s finest motion pictures later in his profession, Don Jon proves to be a promising directorial debut. Hopefully, he’ll helm one other film sooner or later.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Lincoln

9. Lincoln (2012)

Whereas Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not the standout star of Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Lincoln, the actor performs a key half in an extremely spectacular ensemble that features Daniel Day-Lewis within the title presidential function, Sally Area, Tommy Lee Jones, Adam Driver, Dane DeHaan, David Oyelowo, David Strathairn, James Spader, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Walton Goggins, and so many extra. 

As Robert Lincoln, the one son of Abraham and Mary Todd to succeed in maturity, Levitt performs a key private function on this story of the president’s legacy, one that always explores the person along with the legend we see him right this moment. By this dramatized portrayal of his eldest son, we’re given an intimate, emotional glimpse into this U.S. president’s residence life.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Brick

8. Brick (2005)

In Rian Johnson’s function directorial debut, Joseph Gordon-Levitt discovered the steely gazed function that fashioned lots of his future roles in Brick, a pulpy neo-noir movie situated on/round a highschool campus as a substitute of the opposite, extra grownup places seen all through the style prior. He performs Brendan Frye, a highschool loner who adopts the function of a younger detective and works his method into the underworld of a highschool crime ring whereas investigating the disappearance of of his ex-girlfriend. 

Whereas Brick typically performs the style components straight, there are little moments of sly levity all through. However for essentially the most half, Brick is a true-blue noir, respecting its elders whereas additionally giving a brand new spin on the acquainted beats and characters we count on on this style. The outcomes are contemporary even when acquainted, saying the robust debut of its early filmmaker, and showcasing new vary for Gordon-Levitt.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Looper

7. Looper (2012)

In his second main collaboration with author/director Rian Johnson (although he made a cameo in Johnson’s sophomore function The Brothers Bloom), Joseph Gordon-Levitt performs Joe, a contract killer often known as a “looper” who’s employed by syndicates from the long run to terminate individuals they’ve despatched again in time. The closing job is to kill oneself, thus ending the loop. However that proves tough when Joe’s older self (Bruce Willis) is the killer’s subsequent goal. 

Time journey motion pictures typically show to be difficult by way of protecting narrative consistency and never getting slowed down by the logistics. It is a credit score to Johnson’s movie, subsequently, that it by no means will get too heady whereas additionally by no means sacrificing the smarts within the course of, offering a contemporary, entertaining new tackle the acquainted time-looping style. Whereas Gordon-Levitt should put on distracting facial prosthetics to seem like Willis, Levitt’s commanding efficiency by no means will get repetitive.

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie - The Night Before

6. The Evening Earlier than (2015)

Admittedly, this film did not win individuals over as a lot because it delighted me, however for my cash, The Evening Earlier than is without doubt one of the finest R-rated studio comedies in years, and a delightfully heat, hilarious seasonal comedy that deserves extra consideration in the course of the yuletide season. Reuniting with 50/50 co-star/producer Seth Rogen and director Jonathan Levine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt performs Ethan Miller, who spends each Christmas Eve together with his two childhood mates, Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie), after his dad and mom died. However because the years go, it will get more durable to uphold this custom. 

Earlier than they name it quits, these buddies exit in a blaze of glory with the Holy Trinity of events. The outcomes are the everyday stoner antics you’d count on, however the impressed jokes, heat chemistry of our leads, and the film’s successful emotional journey makes this one a present that retains on giving.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - The Dark Knight Rises

5. The Darkish Knight Rises (2012)

Although the choice to incorporate Robin was broadly contested (apologies for spoiling an eight-year-old sequel to one of many largest blockbusters ever!), it is exhausting to fault Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s commendable portrait of John Blake, a Gotham orphan-turned-detective who shares a bond and kinship with Bruce Wayne. 

With an origin story that equally mirrors our lead character, minus the wealth he acquired, Gordon-Levitt brings a grounded sincerity to his function, one which communicates avenue smarts and a life with out glamor or luxurious but carries in regards to the struggling residents of Gotham. Whereas he is set to be a significant torch bearer within the finale, his hard-luck origins and dedication to the on a regular basis residents of the always-tormented Gotham makes him humble and likable. The earnest boyish appeal combined together with his skills for taking part in hard-nosed sleuths made him an ideal match for Christopher Nolan’s portrayal of this memorable Batman companion.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Mysterious Skin

4. Mysterious Pores and skin (2004)

In author/director Gregg Araki’s 2004 movie, Mysterious Pores and skin, primarily based on the novel of the identical title by Scott Heim, Joseph Gordon-Levitt performs Neil McCormick, who together with Brian Lackey (Brady Corbet), was sexually abused as a pre-adolescent, completely affecting their lives, notably as they enter younger maturity. Neil, specifically, turns into a reckless and sexually adventurous intercourse employee, thus forming a daring and difficult function for younger Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

One 12 months earlier than Brick, this acclaimed indie was one among two motion pictures that may announce Levitt’s change from little one star right into a critical grownup actor. And this uncooked and harrowing lead efficiency stays one of many best performances we have gotten from the younger actor but.

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt - 50/50

3. 50/50 (2011)

Tragedy is at all times on the root of comedy, however mining it’s by no means straightforward. From a advertising and marketing perspective, it was exhausting to know what to make of 50/50, a darkish dramedy centered round a younger man named Adam (Gordon-Levitt) who’s recognized with a cancerous tumor in his backbone that leaves his probabilities of survival at 50 %. That is very heavy stuff, however screenwriter Will Reiser (primarily based on his real-life experiences) and director Jonathan Levine discover the lighthearted pathos amid the unhappiness, whereas by no means undermining the severity of this literal life-or-death scenario. 

The outcomes are a surprisingly successful mixture of humor and honesty, portray a practical, significant however by no means dour portrait of friendship, introspection, and discovering the humor in such deep tragedy. It additionally options one among Gordon-Levitt’s best performances. He balances these tonal shifts with mind, sympathy, and authenticity. 50/50 is a complete success.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Inception

2. Inception (2010)

In an ensemble that features Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Web page, Cillian Murphy, Ken Watanabe, Michael Caine, and lots of different gifted actors, it would’ve been straightforward for Joseph Gordon-Levitt to get misplaced within the shuffle. However his well-suited, sensible minded Arthur positively will get his moments to shine in author/director Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending action-thriller. Significantly in an elaborate struggle sequence which finds Gordon-Levitt actually bouncing off the partitions, the actor as soon as once more proves himself to be a reliable motion and dramatic star, able to bending to the varied genres at play in any given mission. 

His fortitude as an actor can typically be neglected, notably in his collaborations with Nolan. That is a disgrace, as his easy, calculated performances do an important deal to deliver quiet gravitas and mild captivation to those huge blockbusters.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - (500) Days Of Summer

1. (500) Days Of Summer time (2009)

Whereas its reception has turn into barely extra important, notably in its depiction of our lovelorn lead, there’s an important deal price admiring in Marc Webb’s bubbly-yet-thoughtful romantic comedy, (500) Days Of Summer time. A part of its success undeniably comes from Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s efficiency as Tom Hansen, an overbearing romantic who photos his cute romance to Summer time (Zooey Deschanel) to be the movie-worthy relationship he is at all times needed. 

Alas, because the title suggests, that does not essentially pan out. Although contested as a Manic Pixie Dream Lady-type rom-com, (500) Days of Summer time proves to be a intelligent, creative, and subversive critique/commentary on this acquainted ’00s trope, with Gordon-Levitt’s emotionally complicated efficiency offering nuance to its flashy, fashionable presentation. Whereas it isn’t reflective because it might and ought to be in direction of its flawed protagonist, it is a remarkably successful and impressed romantic comedy that follows each its thoughts and its coronary heart.

We also needs to point out that there are definitely some honorable mentions. For example, Robert Zemeckis’ The Stroll simply barely missed the reduce. There’s additionally Hesher, The Lookout, Premium Rush, and Cease-Loss. Moreover, I am certain a number of individuals would come with 10 Issues I Hate About You on their very own high ten lists, which is admittedly a blindspot for me (it is on my watchlist!). There’s additionally the aforementioned Angels within the Outfield, which is without doubt one of the first film many of us noticed with the long run film star. What’s your favourite Joseph Gordon-Levitt film? Please tell us within the remark part.



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