List by-Jarrett Leahy
Former child star Joseph Gordon-Levitt was already a fixture in Hollywood even before his small role as Young Norman in Robert Redford’s 1992 period drama, A River Runs Through It. After a successful television career that included a six year run on the cult hit, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Levitt forged ahead, starring in a handful of independent films, showing an infinite potential to be a future movie star. During this new decade, Levitt has proven his fans correct, offering a wide range of successful roles and films that only continue to impress. This week’s Top 6 list takes a look at some of these entertaining films. (As a side note, if this were a true top 6, films like Inception, Lincoln, and The Dark Knight Rises would have been listed. However, since these films have already been highlighted in previous Top 6 lists and Levitt’s roles in each were of the supporting nature, I decided to instead use this opportunity to highlight a few others.)
6. Premium Rush (2012) A hotshot New York City bicycle messenger is hunted by a corrupt police officer after he picks up a highly sought after envelope. A pulse-pounding, fast-paced thrill ride, Premium Rush combined with Looper, The Dark Knight Rises, and Lincoln made 2012 one heck of movie year for Levitt.
5. Don Jon (2013) Levitt’s directorial debut, Don Jon is the amusing story of a stereotypical New Jersey guy who struggles to find happiness and contentment with real life intimacy after his addictive obsession with online porn has created unrealistic expectations about sex and relationships. With a script written by Levitt as well, Don Jon is a confident and absorbing first effort that makes acute statements about today’s sexualized and overstimulated modern society.
4. The Lookout (2007) A devastating accident has left Chris, a former high school hockey star, with a debilitating brain injury causing major memory issues. These memory lapses make having a real job next to impossible, so Chris instead works the night shift at a bank as the cleaning person. When a couple of local thugs learn of Chris’ mental difficulties, they try to recruit him for a plan to rob the bank. The Lookout was a surprisingly sharp and stylish crime thriller, led by Levitt, who skillfully personified the complications and clouded confusion faced by a man suffering from brain trauma.
3. 50/50 (2011) Based on a true story, 50/50 tells of a struggles faced by a 20 something after receiving the terrifying news of a cancer diagnosis. A comedic drama, Levitt brings a genuine sincerity and a touch of humor to this difficult subject matter. Seth Rogen gives one of his best supporting performances, and Anna Kendrick is her usual ethereal self. Please don’t let the daunting subject of cancer scare you away, 50/50 is truly a poignant and moving film.
2. Looper (2012) In the year 2074, time travel is created and immediately banned, opening up a black market for the mob to send people back in time where a paid hitman, or a looper, is waiting to kill and dispose of the body. When Joe’s older self is sent back for assassination, Joe hesitates, allowing his future self to escape. Levitt and Bruce Willis team up with rising director Rian Johnson in this tense, intelligent, and surprisingly original sci-fi thriller.
1. (500) Days of Summer (2009) Tom is a failed architect working at a greeting card company where he meets Summer, the new office secretary fresh off the bus from Michigan. Despite Summer’s admitted belief that there is no such thing as true love, Tom is instantly smitten and is determined to prove her wrong. The chemistry between Levitt and Zooey Deschanel is electrifying. Through the use of entertainingly nonlinear narrative, director Marc Webb created one of the best and most original romantic comedies since Annie Hall. (500) Days of Summer is an absolute gem.-JL