Joseph Gordon-Levitt has appeared in some of the most successful movies in Hollywood during the last two decades. His breakout role came in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, where he played alongside Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Larissa Oleynik. Following that, he took a break and went to Colombia University before starting acting again in 2004. TechTrends made a list of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time for the fans and those who like his acting.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has established himself as a successful actor during the last twenty years and appeared in movies such as Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan, and The Dark Night Rises. He has been rarely appearing in movies and recently appeared in Flora and Son that came out in 2023. He did have some voice-only cameos in Knives Out and Pinocchio, however. Moreover, he appeared in different genres from comedies to dramas and action blockbusters, proving that he is a talented actor. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the best must-see Joseph Gordon-Levitt performances ever. Here we go.
Best Joseph Gordon-Levitt Movies of All Time
For those who thought that Leonardo DiCaprio was the unluckiest man in the industry as he has only received one Oscar notwithstanding his many excellent performances, wait to see an actor as incredible as Joseph Gordon-Levitt not being noninitiated a single time, despite his prolific resume. He has been able to leave an impact on the viewers and is one of the best actors in the industry. Let’s jump into the list of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time without further ado.
12. Snowden 2016
- Genre: Thriller/Drama
- Director: Oliver Stone
- Stars: Julia Stiles, Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Nicolas Cage, Scott Eastwood
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 61%, IMDb 7.3
Despite Snowden not winning any awards, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s portrayal of Edward Snowden in this biopic is incredible. The movie revolves around Snowden when he was in the Army and it follows him to his time at the CIA and NSA, where he found out that the feds had the Americans under surveillance and were putting malware in the foreign governments’ computers. The talented actor was able to show his range in this thriller drama as he is tasked with playing many different things at once. Snowden is without a doubt one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time.
11. 10 Things I hate About You 1999
- Genre: Romance/Comedy
- Director: Gil Junger
- Stars: Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, Gabrielle Union
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 71%, IMDb 7.3
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the role of a sophomore student named Cameron and he falls for Bianca, portrayed by Larisa Oleynik. However, he realizes that Bianca is not allowed to date until her older sister Kat, played by Julia Stiles, is dating. Cameron looks for a solution and asks senior Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan), his new friend, to find a guy for her. They have Heath Ledger’s character Patrick Verona in mind. This is indeed one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time that you do not want to miss.
Read more: Best Romantic Comedies of All Time
10. 7500 2019
- Genre: Thriller/Drama
- Director: Patrick Vollrath
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Omid Memar, Carlo Kitzlinger, Aylin Tezel
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 72%, IMDb 6.3
7500 came out in 2019 and became one of the most recent best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time. His character is Tobias Ellis who begins his shift as a co-pilot while everything appears normal. However, when terrorist attack the cockpit of his Airbus A319, hijacking the plane, things take a turn for the worse. The movie is a co-production between Austria, Germany and the US, with the title mentioning the Emergency Transponder Code for “unlawful interference”. The movie is engaging and Gordon-Levitt’s performance is amazing. Make sure to add this to your watch list. Graph some popcorn and start watching it.
9. Don Jon 2013
- Genre: Romance/Comedy
- Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Malkova, Alexis Texas, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 80%, IMDb 6.5
Don Jon marks Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s first time being a director, allowing him to represent a different side of him. His character is not the sensitive one from 500 Days of Summer or 10 Things I Hate About You. On the other hand, not passing judgment at his character, who is devoted to family and church, he is addicted to porn, despite having a very active sex life. His girlfriend is even Scarlett Johansson in the movie but he would rather watch pornography. When he meets with Julianne More’s Esther, a woman from his class at college, she tries to teach him that the best way to lose oneself is to share oneself with another person and be vulnerable. This is also one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time.
8. Brick 2005
- Genre: Mystery/Noir
- Director: Rian Johnson
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tracy Bitterolf, Nora Zehetner, Noah Segan, Lukas Haas
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 80%, IMDb 7.2
Brick showed Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a force to be reckoned with. He was not a boy anymore and he turned into a full-fledged man, getting his beatings and standing back up again. Gordon-Levitt appeared as Brendan, a teenage detective that is investigating about his ex-girlfriend’s disappearance. He acts with intelligence and intensity, selling the dialogues well. The director made an intriguing world in this movie and landing Gordon-Levitt as the person who guides the audience through the story was like hitting the jackpot for him. Brick is yet another one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time.
7. The Walk 2015
- Genre: Adventure/Drama
- Director: Robert Zemeckis
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Lucas Ramaciere, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 83%, IMDb 7.3
Joseph Gordon-Levitt portrays the role of a fearless wire walker who went between the two towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Joseph was able to present the character with love and dedication. The movie mostly revolves around his character so his job was not an easy one as he had to keep the audience engaged. This is indeed one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time. Make sure to add it to your watch-list.
Read more: Best Adventure Movies of All Time
6. 500 Days of Summer 2009
- Genre: Romance/Comedy
- Director: Marc Webb
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Chloe Grace Moretz
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 85%, IMDb 7.7
500 Days of Summer is another one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time, which is worth watching. The movie features him playing the role of Tom, who is a greeting-card writer and a romantic man. When his girlfriend named Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel, breaks up with him, he is caught off-guard. He looks at their 500 days that they were together to find out what happened to their relationship and by doing so, he realizes what his true passion in life is. Don’t miss this wonderful movie.
Read more: Best Comedy Movies of All Time
5. Mysterious Skin 2004
- Genre: Drama/Indie Film
- Director: Gregg Araki
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brady Corbet, Michelle Trachtenberg, Chase Ellison, Elisabeth Shue, Rachael Nastassja Kraft
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 86%, IMDb 7.6
Mysterious Skin is also one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt films of all time where he and Brady Corbet play the roles of two young teenagers who were abused as children by their coach. The movie shows how that changed their lives as they became older, getting closer to adulthood. Gordon-Levitt played the role of Neil, who turns out to be a reckless male prostitute, with his performance making people believe that he was destined to earn an Oscar nomination on day. This coming-of-age story about sexual abuse and the affects of it is one of the most underrated films of this century. Don’t miss this wonderful film.
4. The Dark Night Rises 2012
- Genre: Action/Thriller
- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 87%, IMDb 8.4
The Dark Knight Rises is an epic end to one of the most well-made movies in a film trilogy of all time. It is not only one of the greatest DC movies of all time, arguably the best, but one of the greatest superhero films ever. Batman comes out of an eight-year exile after he disappears to go against a terrorist and a burglar. This is thrilling Christopher Nolan movie, so make sure to add it to your watchlist. Joseph Gordon-Levitt appears as a Gotham orphan-turned-detective, named John Blake, who shares a bond with Bruce Wayne. His character mirrors the lead character no considering the wealth and Gordon-Levitt was able to add a grounded sincerity to the character he portrayed. This is yet another one of Jordon Gordon-Levitt’s greatest movie roles.
Read more: Best DC Comic Movies of All Time
3. Inception 2010
- Genre: Thriller/Action/Sci-fi
- Director: Christopher Nolan
- Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Elliot Page
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 87%, IMDb 8.8
The star of Christopher Nolan’s movies is indeed Nolan himself. Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy all come together to make this incredible film. Joseph’s character is well-suited and practical minded, shining in all the scenes he is in, particularly when he bounces off the walls in one elaborate fight sequence. With an actor like DiCaprio who has a specialty in intricate character work, it is a challenge to perform that in a high-concept sci-fi epic. DiCaprio, however, is able to do his magic as Dom Cobb, who is a thief able to steal secrets by going through their subconscious thoughts.
He is then given a chance to redeem himself by accepting the job of implanting an idea into someone’s mind. Joseph’s character is one of the main people of his group. Don’t miss this masterpiece in case you haven’t seen it already.
Read more: Best Christopher Nolan Movies of All Time
2. 50/50 2011
- Genre: Comedy/Romance
- Director: Johnathan Levine
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Will Reiser
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 93%, IMDb 7.6
Another one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time is 50/50, where Adam Lerner, played by Gordon-Levitt, is diagnosed with malignant tumors on his spine, and his chance to survive is 50/50. Seth Rogen portrays the role of his best friend Kyle, and Anna Kendrick performs as his therapist, Katherine. Although Adam and Katherine’s meeting is very professional at first, they start to feel for one another and start a romantic relationship. The audience and the critics praised the movie and we strongly recommend this comedy-drama.
Read more: Best Anna Kendrick Movies of All Time
1. Flora and Son 2023
- Genre: Drama/Music
- Director: John Carney
- Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eve Hewson, Jack Reynor, Sophie Vavasseur
- Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 95%, IMDb 7.8
Another one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies of all time, which came out in 2023, is Flora and Son. The movie revolves around a single mother named Flora who argues with her son named Max, trying to convince him to get a hobby. She takes out a guitar from a dumpster and finds out that a person’s rubble can be a salvation for a family. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the role of a teacher that she finds online. He was once a hopeful musician but he is now giving lessons on Zoom for a small amount of money online. His character plays an important role in Carney’s movie. Therefore, this is one of the best Joseph Gordon-Levitt movies ever.