Stoic. Strong. Svelte in headgear. Joseph Gordon-Levitt tops our selection of actors on that one list. Our hyphenated hero’s fast-paced cycle flick (think Quicksilver meets Nick of Time) hits theaters today, not to mention his time-jumping mind-bender, Looper, opens the Toronto International Film Festival next month before his Spielberg debut, Lincoln, come November.
From Beethoven’s Student No. 1 and Young Norman in A River Runs Through It to landing on director Christopher Nolan’s speed dial, the kid’s hit the big time.
So why not dedicate this Friday to his glorious body (of work)? Following, our favorite JGL movies (watch them in this order for a Benjamin Button effect).
The Dark Knight Rises
(Spoiler alert) He was Robin the whole time, who knew?
A cancer comedy based on real life. Odds are JGL’s laugh riot/tear-jerking performance will leave you a sobbing mess.
See him exercise his intelligence. (We’d never be able to finagle a way to drop an elevator full of sleeping people without gravity.)
If you missed it in theaters, you must check it out. He plays a pyromaniacal, chain-smoking Mary Poppins.
(500) Days of Summer
Say what you will about The Smiths references and Zooey Deschanel’s overused baby blues — any film that can incorporate Patrick Swayze’s “She’s like the Wind” is a winner.
The classic whodunit that’s anything but elementary reveals a shaggier, bespectacled version of JGL — “a kind of modern-day Sherlock Holmes we’ll take any day” (via our assistant editor).
10 Things I Hate About You
The best rendition of Taming of the Shrew.
Angels in the Outfield
Yep. That was him!
(Honorable mention via our NYC editor: “But really, 3rd Rock from the Sun.”)
Photos: Courtesy of Sony Pictures; Courtesy of Summit Entertainment; Courtesy of Everett Collection