Jake Gyllenhaal Movies – Best Performance List

Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal, more famously, Jake Gyllenhaal is the son of the famed director, Stephen Gyllenhaal, and Screenwriter, Naomi Foner. Born into a  family of celebrities, Jake has proved his worth since an early age when he starred as a 10-year-old in City Slickers. He is also the brother of Maggie Gyllenhaal, who has worked with him in several films. In his free time, he loves woodworking and cooking and tries to incorporate Buddhist teachings in his life.

Here is his filmography that has given him a big name in Hollywood.


  1. City Slickers

10-year-old Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Danny Robbins, as Billy Crystal's son who is ashamed of his father’s sales job and tells everyone that his father was a submarine commander, in this movie. The film is a comedy-drama released in the year 1991. He didn’t get much of the screen time in the movie but people definitely remember him in this lovable character.


  1. A dangerous woman

The 1993 romantic drama by Jake’s father, Stephen Gyllenhaal, the legendary director and stars Jake and his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal in child actor portrayals. The film is loosely based on the best selling novel of the same name.


  1. Josh and S.A.M

A road comedy film about two brothers who are trapped in conflict due to their parent’s divorce set out on an under-age road trip where they adventure around meeting new people. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Leon Coleman, a tiny appearance in the film.


  1. October Sky

This 1999 American Biographical film is one of the best works of Jake Gyllenhaal portraying as Homer H Hickam Jr. The coal miner’s son who got so inspired by the launch of Sputnik 1 that he decided to take Rocket science against his father’s wishes and successfully becomes a NASA engineer. Jake’s real-life portrayal as Homer was critically praised by many and performance was called to be inspirational.


  1. Donnie Darko

Jake plays the lead character Donnie Darko in this 2001 film. He plays a disturbed teenager who has an imaginary bunny friend who advised him that the World is coming to an end in 28 days. Director Richard Kelly did quite a remarkable work with the sci-fi in this Psychological thriller drama film. Jake’s character was loved by the critics as well as the audience. The film also starred Jake Gyllenhaal's sister Maggie Gyllenhaal.


  1. Bubble boy

Bubble Boy is a comedy-drama inspired by a 1976 musical ”The boy in the plastic bubble”. Jake plays Jimmy Livingston, who is born without an Immune system and has to live in a gear up to build a portable bubble when he learns that the woman he loves is marrying her boyfriend. Director Blair Hayes delivered a fine comedy but couldn’t manage to hit at the box office.


  1. Lovely and amazing

The film is about 4 women, their desires and coping up with their neurotic lifestyle. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a teenage boy who has a crush on an older woman, played by Catherine Keener while nothing seems to go wrong with the relationship until some time. The film was considered to be fun and engaging. It was released in 2001, directed by Nicole Holofcener.


  1. The good girl

The story of two troubled souls, Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal who work at a store together. Gyllenhaal plays a young and dissatisfied with his life until he starts a passionate affair with Aniston, who herself is going through a troubled marriage. The film was a 2002 release by the works of the director, Miguel Arteta. The film earned many accolades especially for the performances of Jake Gyllenhaal and Jennifer Aniston, also winning Teens Choice Awards for Best Actress.


  1. Highway

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jared Leto’s best friend in the film as together they hit the road after Leto sleeps with a gangster's wife in Vegas. The film goes about the adventures they have while on the road trip. It was directed by James Cox. The film didn’t do well at the box-office.


  1. The moonlight mile

2002, Romantic drama film written and directed by Brad Silberling, and quite loosely based on his personal experiences while he was dating actress Rebecca Schaefer, who was killed by her obsessed fan. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the fiancee of a woman who gets murdered later and decides to live with her parents. Things turn when he falls for another woman and has to struggle with decisions. The film didn’t do well but Jake’s character was praised.


  1. The day after tomorrow

Jake’s first doomsday themed film under the expert direction of Rolland Emmerich. The world is moving towards another Ice-age and a group of students struggles to survive. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a student and Dennis Quaid as his father who sets out to rescue his son. The film was a major financial and box-office success of 2004.


  1. Jiminy Glick in Lalawood

An American comedy movie where a film critic Jiminy Glick played by Martin Short gets involved in a murder case during the Toronto International Film festival. Jake Gyllenhaal makes a small interview that appeared in the film starring as himself.


  1. The man who walked between the towers

The film narrates about the legendary French man Phillipe Petit who, in August 1974, walked and danced on a tightrope between the Twin Towers. It was an animated film released in the year 2005. Jake Gyllenhaal was the narrator of the story.


  1. Brokeback mountain

A prized film starring Jake Gyllenhaal along with Late Heath Ledger. The film was inspired by a short story and directed by Ang Lee. The story outlines about two men engaged in an emotional and sexual relationship in the times of Wild West America. It gained huge success by the critics as well as the audience, also, winning BAFTA and Golden Globe awards for Best Picture and Best Director while Academy Awards for Direction, Adapted Screenplay, and Original Score.


  1. Proof

Proof is based on a Pulitzer prize-winning play under the same name about a brilliant mathematician, whose death comes to a shocker for his daughter and is out on the fight to reveal to the World about her father’s brilliance which hid behind the fact that her father was mentally unstable. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the mathematician' s ex-student who helps the genius’s daughter(Gwyneth Paltrow) on her mission. The film was directed by John Madden and was received positively from critics as well as the audience.


  1. Jarhead

Gyllenhaal plays the war hero, U.S. Marines Anthony Swofford, who is said to have joined the army because he forgets his way to college, in this biographical war drama. The film is about the Iraq-Kuwait war. Jake stars along with Jamie Foxx and Peter Sarsgaard.


  1. Zodiac

The true-crime thriller drama film, about the manhunt for the Zodiac killer, a serial murderer who terrorized San Francisco during the 1960s. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Robert Graysmith, the political cartoonist who gave initial evidence. The film was well appreciated among the audience and critics.


  1. Rendition

A political thriller drama directed by Gavin Hood, Rendition is about the CIA 's practice of extraordinary rendition and is based on the true story of Khaled-el-Masri mistaken for Khalid-al-Masri. Gyllenhaal plays a CIA analyst in the film and other cast included Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, and Peter Sarsgaard.


  1. Brothers

The film is a psychological war drama about a US marine captain Sam Cahili played by Toby Maguire, who gets abducted and tortured by the Taliban while his brother Tommy(Gyllenhaal) returns to his family after serving a jail term for armed robbery. Situations arise when Sam is freed and returns to his family in a mentally unstable condition. The film was acclaimed for the story and especially the performance of Toby Maguire.


  1. Prince of Persia: the Sands of time

A video game adaptation of the same name starring Gyllenhaal as Prince Dastaan, the adopted prince who is falsely accused of killing his ‘King' father and goes on an adventure through the desert while uncovering the legendary dagger that can make travel back in time and the truth of his father’s murder. The film is considered the best video game adaptation till date. The film received a mixed response but acting of both Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton was praised. 


  1. Love and other drugs

This 2010 Romantic drama flick is based on a non-fiction book Hard sell: The evolution of a viagra salesman by Jamie Reidi. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the salesman who flirts with women and finally when he is truly in love with a woman, his career gets on the way. Gyllenhaal plays alongside Anne Hathaway. Both the actors won Golden Globe awards for this film.


  1. Source code

This 2011 thriller action flick will keep you glued to it till the end. Jake plays a U.S army captain who is sent to computer reality to find a bomber. The film was directed by Duncan Jones and was a huge box office success.


  1. End of watch

The film was directed by David Ayer and released in 2012. Jake Gyllenhaal along with Michael Pena stars in this crime drama as LAPD officers who do their policing in America’s most notorious neighborhood. Their personal and professional life jeopardized when they unravel a serious crime. The film received many accolades and was loved for the acting performances.


  1. Prisoners

Prisoners were voted one of the top ten films in 2013. A Hugh Jackman starrer along with Jake Gyllenhaal, this is a thriller that you will watch without a blink. Hugh Jackman plays the father of an abducted girl, who sets out to find his daughter by himself when the police do not help. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a police officer who helps Jackman in his quest. The acting performances were appreciated and the film was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Academy’s.


  1. Enemy

This 2013 film is an international co-production of the Spanish and Canadian film industry. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a double role in the film. A college professor who spots an actor who looks exactly similar to him poses as his doppelganger and starts living his life. The film was named as the best Canadian film of the year and won Best Director, Best supporting actress and Best Motion picture at the Canadian Screen Awards.


  1. Nightcrawler

Gyllenhaal is seen yet again in this 2014 crime thriller portraying the role of an anti-hero, a sprinter who records crime videos at night and sells them to local media. The film was one of the best films of 2014 and was also nominated in the Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars.


  1. Accidental love

Jake stars as a politician who falls in love with a waitress. The film is a 2015 American comedy and didn’t fall into a favourable response.


  1. Southpaw

The Sports drama film where Gyllenhaal is seen playing a boxer who is devastated after losing his wife in an accident and tries to get back to his life after meeting a former boxer. The acting performances were highly praised. It was directed by Antoine Fuqua and other stars were Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker.


  1. Demolition

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a banker who is struggling with his life after his wife’s death but after meeting a colleague at the office and her troubled teenage son, he sees his life-changing for the better. The film was directed by Jean-Marc Vallee 


  1. Everest

A biographical adventure film about the hardships and extreme weather conditions faced by two groups of expeditors starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke in pivotal roles. This 2015 film is based on the true events of the 1995 Mount Everest disaster. This film directed and produced under Baltasar Kormakur was a big financial success and was highly appreciated by the critics.


  1. Life

This sci-fi horror film, directed by Daniel Espinosa stars Gyllenhaal as an ISS medical officer who together with his team discovers traces of life on Mars. The film was praised for its story and acting but also criticized for its originality.


  1. Okja

Okja is an action-adventure film about a Korean girl who raises a genetically modified pig, which a multinational company wishes to profit from. Gyllenhaal plays a disturbed zoologist and TV personality in the film. The film competed in Palme d'or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017. The film was later released on Netflix.


  1. Stronger

Based on the memoir of Jeff Nauman, who lost his both legs in the Boston Marathon bombings, Director David Gordon Green creates a motivational biographical drama. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Bauman who recovers from the mishap mentally and physically with his family’s unwavering support. The film was praised by the critics for its mature storyline but failed to hit at the box office.


  1. Wildlife

A sensible take on the struggles of a 1960’s nuclear family and coping with it, is told in this 2018 drama directed by  Paul Dano. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the husband who after losing his job, leaves his family to fight the wildfire started in the forest. The film received extremely positive reviews and was awarded the Best Film in Toronto film festival. The acting of all three main characters Carry Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ed Oxenbould, were highly praised.


  1. The Sisters Brothers

Two notorious assassin brothers chase two men who are out in search of gold. A dark comedy crime drama, directed by Jacques Audiard and is based on the novel of the same name. Jake Gyllenhaal plays, John Morris,  a private detective who is behind another man on a gold rush but befriends him later. The film was praised by critics and audiences, especially for the acting performances.


  1. Velvet Buzzsaw

A story revolving around the paintings of a dead artist that begins to haunt those who profit from them. Jake Gyllenhaal plays an art critic in this 2019 supernatural film.


  1. Spiderman: Far from home

This 2019 Spiderman venture and the sequel to Spiderman: Homecoming by Marvel studios was the first Spiderman movie that crossed the billion-dollar mark. Peter Parker is called baçk from his school trip by Nick Fury and Mysterio to save the World from the Elementals. Gyllenhaal plays Mysterio, a fellow superhero.

Together with a successful work as an actor, Jake Gyllenhaal is all set to be a part of the production team. The following are the three films that you will soon witness with Gyllenhaal as the producer.

  1. The Devil all the time

An upcoming 2020 film about a few disturbed people suffering from damages of Post-war. Jake Gyllenhaal together with Randall Poster is the producer of the film.

  1. Good Joe bell

The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Reid Miller, Connie Britton, Maxwell Jenkins, and Gary Sinise

  1. Breaking News in Yuba County

Another project lined under Jake Gyllenhaal's production. It stars Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, and Regina Hall. A woman catches her husband cheating on her which gives him a heart attack. She buries him without anyone’s knowledge and keeps it a secret.