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The 10 best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies

The best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies range from self-directed comedies to one of the biggest superhero movies ever

Written by
Alyssa Ammirato
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There’s a long list of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies and shows, but the actor first captured our attention in the ‘90s as a teenaged alien on 3rd Rock from the Sun. Now, he’s graduated to Hollywood star, writer, director and all-around creative cool guy. JGL is stealing scenes whether he’s turning a cancer patient into a leading man, performing a balancing act in a recent New York movie or waiting in the wings in the best superhero movies. His impressive credits list didn’t make it easy to narrow them down, but these titles are where he really shines.

Best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies

  • Film
  • Comedy

There wasn’t a gal in school in the late ‘90s who didn’t have a major crush on Cameron. Playing the sweet-natured, totally geeky but cute antidote to obnoxious Joey, Gordon-Levitt won our teenage hearts—no small feat when you’re acting opposite Heath Ledger at his broodiest best.

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  • Film
  • Action and adventure

Officer Blake (Gordon-Levitt) seems to be on the fringe of things throughout this epic battle of wits and rage between an aged, injured Batman and an out-for-revenge Bane. But the well-intentioned cop means something huge to Gotham City, and JGL proves that a sidekick shouldn’t be a second thought.

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  • Film

In a dystopian 2044, Joe (Gordon-Levitt) is an assassin of futuristic sorts. Thirty years down the road in 2074, mob men beam their targets into the past where they land in an assassin’s range. It’s all fine and dandy until Joe meets a very familiar futuristic face with an X on his back, and all that makeup and prosthetics making Gordon-Levitt look like Bruce Willis will start to make sense.

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  • Film

Whether you identified with Manic Pixie Dream Girl Zooey Deschanel or had a soft spot for sweetheart JGL, (500) Days of Summer changed up the classic conclusion of a romantic comedy. The format and characters’ quirks made you feel something different, even if it was just the urge to take your next date to Ikea.

  • Film
  • Drama

In a pre-9/11 world, the Twin Towers graced the NYC skyline with a kind of unmatched authority. In 1974, a man named Philippe Petit took a death-defying dance across a tightrope between the buildings, and here, Gordon-Levitt takes a (CGI) walk of his own. His French accent flounders, but he sure is sure on his feet.

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  • Film
  • Drama

You’ve seen guys like Don Jon—always hawking tickets to a private gun show, preoccupied with scoring with girls and a little too into himself (and, um, pleasing himself). But who knew cutie pie Gordon-Levitt had it in him? He goes full bro in this self-directed movie of Joisey accents and booze.

Want to watch a Harrison Ford movie?

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