Jake Gyllenhaal began his acting career since the early 1990s as a child. In the years that followed, he has grown to become one of the most consistent people in the business, handling everything from films to shows with the same expertise he has come to be known with. He has thus far, recorded close to a billion dollars in Box office and has won many awards in the process. Ever wondered the best Jake Gyllenhaal movies? Let’s take a look at them all.
Jake Gyllenhaal Movies and TV Shows Ranked
1. Nightcrawler (2014)
The movie shows the connection between violent news content and it’s consumerism. Jake plays the role of Lou Bloom, a petty thief that somehow discovers that money can be made from making amateur video coverage of scenes from crime scenes and sell them to local movie stations.
He soon discovers that it’s a big business that people are even willing to kill each other from. The movie shows how violence is glorified by the news media and public in general and Jake Gyllenhaal pulled off the role like it was nothing. It is safe to say that the character was created for him specifically.
2. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
There are times that a movie would change the way we view the world and our perception of some certain groups and Brokeback Mountain is certainly one of those movies. The movie explores gay love between two men over for over 20 years between 1963 to 1983.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of Jack Twist who falls in love with Ennis Del Mar over the summer of sheep herding in the Wyoming mountains. Over the next couple of years, he and his partner would meet again and leave each other to conform with societal norms by marrying and having children but in the end, they would eventually see that love is one of the greatest things on earth. Jake pulled off the role in such a way that the character would linger on our minds even after the movie had long ended.
Boxing movies have made the rounds for a while in the sports movie genre but making a boxing movie with a character like Jake Gyllenhaal means it is going to be something better than the usual and Southpaw does deliver that.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role Billy Hope, a Boxer whose style of fighting even though leaves him heavily beaten and bruised has worked perfectly for him as he has remained unbeaten in his professional career. In a twist of events during one of his promotional events, his wife is mistakenly killed by the younger brother of a rival and from there, Billy’s world comes crashing. He begins to abuse drugs and pile up debts. His daughter is taken away from him and he hits rock bottom as he goes from superstar to a gym cleaner.
His life, however, takes a turn when he meets a former great boxer who helps him overcome his addiction, get him into his boxing game and ultimately finds forgiveness with his daughter for failing her after her mother’s death.
Jake in one of his best movies, shows raw emotions as a superstar hits rock bottom and tries to find his way up. With exceptional boxing fights and emotions to make the most heart melt, Southpaw is certainly one of Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performance.
4. Okja (2017)
The action-adventure film shows the length that industrialist and capitalists would go in order to get their plans to go through. It also shows the human capacity to love other beings that are not human as it tells the story of how a young South Korean girl would journey from some of the remotest parts of her country down to the United States to save her super pig from the hands of the corporate world.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of Johnny Wilcox, a TV personality and a very disturbed Zoologist who will later sell his soul to the organization that was looking to experiment on Okja, the super pig. Although not the most conventional of roles we have seen Jake play, we are glad to see him pull out of his comfort zone.
5. Source Code (2011)
In a sci-fi movie that goes beyond just new technologies but touches the heart, mixing emotions with time travel, Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of Colten Stevens, a captain in the US army who is sent back in time repeatedly to find a train bomber in the last eight minutes of a schoolteacher. Each time travel lasts 8 minutes and he must find clues in which the authorities can use to find the culprit in the present time and stop him from making sure other bombs go off.
Jake in the movie plays the role of the army captain who knows what is at stake and there is not a minute in the 90-minute movie that you are not transfixed to your screen.
6. October Sky (1999)
This is based on the biography of Homer Hickam, the son of a coal miner who goes against the wishes of his father by getting involved in Amateur rocketry before eventually becoming a NASA Engineer. In this movie, the then 19 years old Jake uses the innocence in his baby face to convey the message in his dream to the audience. Playing the Homer was, in fact, the role for the budding star.
In a feel-good movie that we expect ups and downs before the eventual triumph of the main character, Jake pulls through with a wonderful performance that leaves the heart cheerful and the mind inspired that we can all chase our dreams.
The movie, being a remake of the 2004 Danish movie Bodre is not as intense as the original but a very good movie by all standards. The movie explores the relationship between a wife and her brother in law while her husband was away fighting in a war and thought to be dead. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of Tommy Cahill, a recently released inmate who in the absence and supposed death of his brother in Afganistan tries to take care of the family and be responsible for them.
The movie which shows the connections between brothers and also between couples shows Jake Gyllenhaal transforms from a nonchalant person to a caring person who would look out for his brother’s family and eventually his brother when he arrives.
7. Prince of Persia (2010)
Prince of Persia is a game that resonates with all gamers across the world. With over 20 different releases of the game on all gaming platforms, it was no doubt that the movie Prince of Persia; Sands of Time would make heads turn and make some important records in the game to movie adaptation genre. Although it did break some records, it didn’t live up to expectations in terms of plot and acting as the movie got mixed reviews.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays the titular character of Dastan, a street boy that was adopted by the king for his bravery. A decade and a half later, he must save his adopted family as Sheik Almar, who is the equivalent of being the prime minister is out to break the family and making Dastan take the fall for it being an adopted son.
Gyllenhaal and the other lead character, Gemma Arterton, did not show enough chemistry to make the movie something worthy, the CGI was not up to standards and the movie didn’t live up to the hype of the video game it was based on. It was, however, the highest grossing video game adapted movie as at the time it was released.
8. Rendition (2007)
After directing ‘Totsi’ which won an Oscar, you will think that Director Gavin Hood’s next movie would be at least above average in terms of plot, acting and others but the 2007 Political thriller Rendition are what you term a boring movie.
Although with good intentions, the movie which sheds light on the CIA’s case of how mistaken identity get an innocent and average person on the street brutally tortured. The film in its multilayered plots fails to deliver as Jake Gyllenhaal who plays Douglass Freeman, a CIA analyst with all his talent couldn’t save the film. The film was a box office disaster.
9. Love and Other Drugs (2010)
In a movie that is a mixture of several ideas and borrowing from several earlier works to put into 112 minutes of screen time, the highly predictable movie plays on several ideas some of which were funny and others didn’t work at all and they all ending in a safe position which doesn’t quite make you know where to compartmentalize the movie. Whether it is a romantic erotica comedy or just a complex drama.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jamie, a philanderous salesman who deals in pharmaceuticals and how he engages in a ‘No strings attached’ sexual relationship with a woman who suffers from Parkison’s disease (Anne Hathaway). The Friends with Benefits relationship soon turns into experimentation for Viagra pills and in the end, both opted to pursue a real relationship with each other.
Although raking in 103 million dollars, the movie played it too safe and underutilized the immense talent of Gyllenhaal and Hathaway.