Ever since his career-making turn in 1999′s 10 Things I Hate About You, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proven he has an eye for choosing rewarding, versatile projects (we’ll ignore G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra). Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the most talented actors working today, and while he has yet to earn an Academy Award nomination, it’s only a matter of time.
With The Dark Knight Rises still plugging along and the Gordon-Levitt-starring Premium Rush in theaters this week, now is a perfect time to look at the accomplished actor’s best movies.
No. 9. Angels in the Outfield (1994)
Before 10 Things I Hate About You or Inception, and even before “3rd Rock from the Sun”, there was Angels in the Outfield, a cheesy baseball movie where a young orphan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) prays that his God-awful California Angel get better. Angels literally descend from the heavens to help the players out, even though the little kid is the only one who can see them.
Sure, it’s a dated children’s movie and, as an atheist, pretty silly, but I have fond memories of this movie while growing up.
Of course, the alternate ending had Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character being diagnosed with schizophrenia, getting medicated and watching his hallucination of an angelic Christopher Lloyd fade away.
No. 8. The Lookout (2007)
In The Lookout, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a bright, athletic teenager who, after a tragic car accident, finds himself brain damaged and barely able to hold a job doing janitorial service at a small town bank. When he gets recruited to rob that very same bank, he jumps at the chance – even if he has to write down even the simplest of tasks to remember them.
A character study as much as it is a thriller, The Lookout is one of Gordon-Levitt’s least known films, but one that shouldn’t be ignored.
No. 7. Hesher (2011)
Heavy metal. Pornography. Moving into people’s homes without asking for permission. Blowing sh*t up. These are among Hesher’s favorite things to do. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the force to be reckoned with known as Hesher, a long-haired, unshaven, tattooed, foul-mouthed, pyromaniac and often shirtless punk who may or may not be a sociopath, but who nonetheless serves as unconventional angel for a family in distress.
This movie, which few have seen, exemplifies Gordon-Levitt’s range as an actor. Hesher is his most ambitious role yet and he embraces it fully, going 180-degrees from his typically clean cut roles.
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