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Top 10 Jake Gyllenhaal Movies

Gyllenhaal was regularly exposed to filmmaking due to his family's ties to the industry.

Recently, Apple TV+ released a trailer for Presumed Innocent, a TV series starring Jake Gyllenhaal based on Scott Turow’s novel. 

Jake Gyllenhaal is an American actor born into the Gyllenhaal family to father Stephen Gyllenhaal and mother screenwriter Naomi Foner.

Gyllenhaal started acting as a child, debuting in City Stickers in 1991. His breakthrough roles were as Homer Hickam in October Sky and as a psychologically troubled teenager in Donnie Darko.

Jake Gyllenhall’s top 10 movies are listed based on their IMDb ratings.

MoviesReleased Date
Donnie DarkoOctober 26, 2001
NightcrawlerOctober 31, 2014
October SkyFebruary 19, 1999
Brokeback MountainDecember 9, 2005
ZodiacMarch 2, 2007
End Of WatchSeptember 21, 2012
Source CodeApril 1, 2011
Nocturnal AnimalsNovember 23, 2016
SouthpawJuly 20, 2015
BrothersDecember 4, 2009

10. Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko’s running time is 1h 53min
DirectorRichard Kelly
WriterRichard Kelly
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Mary McDonnell
Release DateOctober 26, 2001
IMDb RatingIMDb

Donnie Darko is an American science fiction psychological thriller movie whose development started in late 1997 when director Kelly graduated from film school and started writing scripts. Jake played the lead character of Donnie Darko in the movie.

The movie follows Donnie Darko, an emotionally troubled teenager who inadvertently escapes a bizarre accident by sleepwalking.

He has visions of Frank, a mysterious figure in a rabbit costume who informs him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds.

The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2001, and was released in limited theatrical theaters on October 26.

Donnie Darko’s advertising featured a crashing plane, and the September 11 attacks had occurred a month and a half before; it was scarcely advertised.

It affected its box office performance and grossed just $517,375 in its initial run. The movie gained a cult following, and after reissues, it went on to gross $7.5 million worldwide and earned more than $10 million in US home video sales.

9. Nightcrawler (2014)

Night Crawler’s running time is 1h 57min
DirectorDan Gilroy
WriterDan Gilroy
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Release DateOctober 31, 2014
IMDb RatingIMDb

Nightcrawler is an American thriller movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, and Bill Paxton in supporting roles. Jake appeared as Louis Bloom in the movie.

Jake Gyllenhaal played Louis “Lou” Bloom, a stringer who records violent events late at night in Los Angeles and sells the footage to a local television news station.

The common theme of the movie is the relationship between unethical journalism and consumer demand.

The movie premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, grossed $50.3 million on a production budget of $8.5 million, and gained a cult following over the years.

Several critics listed Nightcrawler as one of the best films of 2014, and it received various accolades, including a Best Original Screenplay nomination at the 87th Academy Awards.

8. October Sky (1999)

October Sky’s running time is 1h 48min
DirectorJoe Johnston
WriterHomer H. Hickam Jr., Lewis Colick
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern
Release DateFebruary 19, 1999
IMDb RatingIMDb

October Sky is a biographical drama directed by Joe Johnston. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Chris Owen, and Laura Dem. Jake appeared as Homer Hickam in the movie.

The movie is based on the lives of four young men who grew up in Coalwood, West Virginia.

Principal photography occurred in rural East Tennessee, including Oliver Springs, Harriman, Kingston, Morgan, and Roane counties.

The movie was a moderate box office success and received a very positive critical reception; it continues to be celebrated in the regions where it was set and filmed.

It is an anagram of Rocket Boys, the little of the 1998 memoir upon which the movie is based.

7. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Brokeback Mountain’s running time is 2h 14min
DirectorAng Lee
WriterAnnie Proulx, Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams
Release DateDecember 9, 2005
IMDb RatingIMDb

Brokeback Mountain is an American neo-Wetsern romantic drama movie adapted from the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx. Jake appeared as Jack Twist in the movie.

The movie’s plot depicts the complex romantic relationship between two American cowboys, Ennis Del, and Jack Twist, in the American West from 1963 to 1983.

Brokeback Mountain premiered at the 2005 Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion and was released to theaters on December 9.

The film gained widespread critical acclaim, with high praise for the performances of Ledger And Jake Gyllenhall.

It was one of the commercial successes at the box office, grossing over $178 million worldwide against a budget of $14 million.

6. Zodiac (2007)

Zodiac’s running time is 2h 37min
DirectorDavid Fincher
WriterJames Vanderbilt, Robert Graysmith
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo
Release DateMarch 2, 2007
IMDb RatingIMDb

Zodiac is an American neo-noir actual crime thriller movie based on Robert Graysmith’s nonfiction books Zodiac and Zodiac Unmasked. Jack plays the lead role of Robert Graysmith.

The movie tells the story of the search for the Zodiac Killer, a serial killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s and early 1970s, taunting police with letters, bloodstained clothing, and ciphers mailed to newspapers.

Director David Fincher and producer Bradley J. Fischer spent 18 months researching the Zodiac murders.

The movie received largely positive reviews, with praise for its writing, directing, acting, and historical accuracy.

Zodiac grossed over $84.7 million worldwide on a production budget of $65 million. A 2016 BBC critics poll voted it the 12th greatest movie of the 21st century.

5. End Of Watch (2012)

End Of Watch’s running time is 1h 49min
DirectorDavid Ayer
WriterDavid Ayer
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick
Release DateSeptember 21, 2012
IMDb RatingIMDb

End Of Watch is an American action thriller movie that focuses on their day-to-day police work, their dealing with a particular group of gang members, their friendship with each other, and their relationships.

Jack Gyllenhaal has appeared as Brian Taylor in the movie. He played the LAPD police officer and Mike Zavala’s best friend.

Director and writer David Ayer wanted to focus more on the friendship between partner and daily police work and subordinate the contextual elements of the drug trafficking story.

End of Watch premiered on September 8, 2012, at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released in American Theatres on September 21.

The movie received positive reviews and grossed over $57 million at the box office against a budget of $15 million.

4. Source Code (2011)

Source Code’s running time is 1h 33min
DirectorDuncan Jones
WriterBen Ripley
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
Release DateApril 1, 2011
IMDb RatingIMDb

Source Code is a U.S. science fiction action thriller movie that stars Jake Gyllenhaal as U.S. Army Captain Colter Stevens.

Colter is sent into an eight-minute virtual re-creation of a real-life train explosion, tasked with determining the identity of the terrorist who bombed it.

The movie premiered on South by Southwest on March 11, 2011, and was released by Summit Entertainment on April 1, 2011, in North America and Europe.

It was a box office success, grossing over $147.3 million against the budget of $31.9 million.

3. Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Nocturnal Animals’ running time is 1h 56min
DirectorTom Ford
WriterTom Ford, Austin Wright
CastsAmy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon
Release DateJuly 20, 2015
IMDb RatingIMDb

Nocturnal Animals is an American neo-noir psychological thriller movie based on the 1993 novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright. Jake appeared as Tony Hasting/Edward Sheffield in the movie.

The movie’s plot follows an art gallery owner as Amy Adams reads the new novel written by her first husband and begins to see the similarities between it and their former relationship.

Nocturnal Animals premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival on September 2, 2016, and was released by Focus Features in North America on November 18, 2016.

The movie received positive reviews, praise for the performances and Ford’s direction, and grossed over $32 million worldwide.

Moreover, Nocturnal Animals earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the 89th Academy Awards.

It also received nine BAFTA Award nominations, Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Director and Screenplay, and a Best Supporting Actor win for Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

2. Southpaw (2015)

Southpaw’s running time is 2h 4min
DirectorAntoine Fuqua
WriterKurt Sutter
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence
Release DateNovember 23, 2016
IMDb RatingIMDb

Southpaw is an American sports drama movie directed by Antonie Fuqua, written by Kurt Sutter, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Billy Hope.

The movie follows a boxer who sets out to get his life back on track after losing his wife after a gunshot and later his young daughter to child protective services.

It was set in New York City but filmed in Pittsburgh and the nearby town of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Southpaw received mixed reviews from critics, while Gyllenhaal and Oona Laurence’s performances received positive reviews.

The film grossed $95 million worldwide against a production budget of $30 million.

1. Brothers (2009)

Brothers’ running time is 1h 45min
DirectorJim Sheridan
WriterDavid Benioff, Susanne Bier, Anders Thomas Jensen
CastsJake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire
Release DateDecember 4, 2009
IMDb RatingIMDb

Brothers is an American psychological thriller movie. It is a remake of the Danish film.

In this movie, Captain Sam Cahill, a presumed dead prisoner of the War in Afghanistan, deals with extreme PTSD upon his release from captivity and reintegration into society.

The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Cahill’s brother and Natalie Portman as his wife. It is inspired by Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey.

The movie received a mixed response and grossed $43 million against the production budget of $26 million.


The review team of The Departurefilm found that Jake Gyllenhaal is a multi-talented and versatile actor.

His diverse filmography spans various genres, from science-fiction to thriller and neo-Western romantic, each showing his ability to act.

If you are a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal’s movies, then the above-listed movies might be perfect for you.

Rohit Maharjan
Rohit Maharjan
Rohit Maharjan is a skilled content writer and editor, known for his expertise in crafting engaging and informative written pieces. Beyond his professional work, Rohit is also a passionate musician, dedicating his free time to playing the guitar and creating melodious tunes.


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