For my first performance ranking I’ll be ranking not only one of my favorite actors but one of the best actors working today, Jake Gyllenhaal.
10. Jarhead (2005)
At number 10 Gyllenhaal gives his performance as Anthony Swofford. A marine that is dealing with the fighting in the Gulf War. Gyllenhaal gives a performance that fits this very bleak Sam Mendes war film and makes you feel his pain throughout the film.
9. Donnie Darko (2001)
My number 9 is Gyllenhaal’s breakout role in the cult film Donnie Darko. Gyllenhaal gives a haunting & creepy performance that leaves you deciding whether you like him or not. As well as a performance that is complex & deep just like the film itself.
8. Zodiac (2007)
Coming in at number 8 is his performance as Robert Graysmith in the David Fincher masterpiece. His performance makes you feel his obsession for the Zodiac killer and makes you want to solve it as well.
7. End of Watch (2012)
At number 7 is his role as LAPD officer Brain Taylor. This role began Gyllenhaal’s run with smaller independent films that is still running today. This goes up there with some of his most intense performances, being a character that is always on edge.
6. Nocturnal Animals (2016)
At number 6 is his role as both Tony Hastings & Edward Sheffield. This performance was very under looked when it came around to the Oscars and it truly disappointed me that he got no award recognition at all. His roles in the this film are very vital to the pulse of the film and man does this film have a pulse. This is a film chockfull of great performances along with Gyllenhaal’s, with the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson & Michael Shannon, One of which won a Golden Globe, while the other received an Academy Award nomination. And when all three of those performances are interacting you are sure in for a treat.
5. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
At number 5 is his role as Jack Twist. This is very surprisingly his only Oscar nominated performance, but one he very much deserved. Giving a very nuanced performance that you slowly get to know. Going even deeper into the role is his dialect & accent work in the film that is fantastic, giving a great Wyoming accent.
4. Prisoners (2013)
At number 4 another cop performance by Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki. This being one of my all time favorite films, this performance is held very high by myself. Gyllenhaal is just flat out fantastic in this film, he gives such a detailed performance from something as small as a twitch to something as big a letting you feel the pain and trouble of his past.
3. Stronger (2017)
At number 3 is his performance as the real life Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. A film that just theaters a few weeks ago and is giving Gyllenhaal big Oscar talk and I myself can back that up fully. Gyllenhaal plays Bauman to a tee, and that has been backed up by family and friends of Bauman. Once again a performance by Gyllenhaal that’s all about details, from the ways Bauman used to sit in his wheelchair to his personality to the way he walks now with his new legs. Gyllenhall is just flat out great and I can go ahead and say it you will be seeing him at the Oscars this year.
2. Enemy (2014)
At number 2 is another 2 character role for Gyllenhaal as both Adam Bell & Anthony Claire. This film right here I can guarantee you is the most deep and complex film you’ll likely ever see, with an ending that will leave you puzzled at first. This performance by Gyllenhaal is as well very deep and complex playing 2 very different characters and giving them very different feels and attitudes. This was also the 2nd collaboration between Gyllenhaal & director Denis Villeneuve (they first worked on Prisoners), this is a collaboration that can become something on the level of a Scorsese & DiCaprio.
1. Nightcrawler (2014)
And at number 1 is his role as Louis Bloom, the nightcrawler that follows the trouble. This performance right here is one of the best performances of the 21st century. It will forever blow my mind how he not only didn’t get nominated for an Oscar but very much should have won. This film is very much a Modern day version of Taxi Driver and I give Dan Gilroy very much props for the direction and writing in this film. And all the props in the world to Gyllenhaal for making such a Slimy character come to life.