As a self-proclaimed film aficionado, one of the greatest aspects of the 2012 movie season was the onslaught of captivating and highly intriguing movies featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The amount of roles that he has depicted has expounded over the years, each adding dimension. As a longtime fan, I've enjoyed watching his presence in the world of film and media become more defined as he takes on exceedingly complex roles and manages to efficiently portray and embody every character that he plays. These top movies featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt will highlight some of the greatest points in his career.
1 Angels in the Outfield (1994)
This reboot of the 1951 film is one of my favorite movies featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I must admit that this reasoning is due in part to the fact that he was actually the first actor that I ever had a crush on! The premise of both the original and this remake focuses on a baseball team in dire need of luck in order turn their losing streak around. Joseph's character, an orphan, prays for a change in their luck; the movie depicts what happens after his request is essentially granted.
2 Manic (2001)
This film features an astounding performance from both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, who plays opposite him as the lead character. As one of his darker roles, he portrays the character of Lyle Jensen, a teenager who is forced to go to a juvenile psychiatric ward due to violent behavior. During his stay there, he meets a series of interesting people who suffer from different illnesses and have their own set of dark secrets.
3 Brick (2005)
This thriller is the first collaboration (work wise) between Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Rian Johnson, as he would go on to star in Johnson's 2012 film “Looper.” Heavily inspired by author Samuel Dashiell Hammett's detective stories and containing film noir elements, it centers on a high school student who takes it upon himself to uncover the truth behind the death of his girlfriend and her connections to the drug scene. My only warning is that this movie features dark subjects.
4 The Lookout (2007)
After getting into an accident that results in brain damage, Joseph's character Chris Pratt has to learn to accomplish daily tasks through sequencing techniques in spite of his short-term memory. These skills come in handy when Pratt finds himself in the middle of a bank robbery.
5 (500) Days of Summer (2009)
This has to be one of my favorite films of all time! I find it intriguing that the events aren't organized in a conventional or linear fashion; this makes it even more appealing. This film tells the story of two co-workers who begin to date, only for everything to begin to slowly unravel. Because of this lovely duo's utterly captivating and believable performances, I would highly recommend this (non) love story!
6 Inception (2010)
First things first, this fabulous movie boasts an incredibly talented cast, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy. This film contains an intricate storyline that involves people who essentially “steal” secrets from dreams by entering into the subconscious of the dreamer. With these veteran actors on board, there is no room for argument on why Inception has been hailed as the 36th highest grossing film of all time! Also, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hardy in suits – Need I say more?
7 50/50 (2011)
Based on director Jonathan Levine's struggle with cancer, 50/50 is my absolute favorite film featuring this brilliant actor. Stealing its name from a doctor's advice stating that he has a 50% chance of beating the malignant tumor, the dynamic between Levine's real-life best friend Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt is powerful, heart-wrenching and humbling all at once.
8 The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
How could this list exist without the mention of hit director Christopher Nolan's final installment in the Dark Knight series? Continuing after Batman's disappearance in “The Dark Knight,” Gotham has learned to move on without the masked hero until villain Bane (played by the amazing Tom Hardy) comes to seek retribution. This movie is certainly worth watching, if only for the countless plot twists it contains!
9 Looper (2012)
This science-fiction/action film about a man who is hired by an illegal organization to dispose of people sent back in time reunites Joseph with director Rian Johnson. Incredibly complex and beautifully filmed, the original script (posted online by Johnson) even reads like a novel, a fact which made me appreciate the final product even more.
As you can see from this list, this “Regular Joe” has worn a hat of many sizes; entrepreneur and director are a few titles recently added to his repertoire as his film “Don Jon” is set for release in September 2013. With a résumé as extensive as his, it is no mystery that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is praised by many. What is your favorite movie featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt?
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