(Photo by Open Road/courtesy Everett Collection)
We’re ranking the films of Jake Gyllenhaal! We start with his Certified Fresh films, dating back to his starring debut with October Sky, and his cult classic two years later, Donnie Darko. Gyllenhaal has been a critics and audience favorite throughout his career, with more Certified Fresh-awarded projects like Brokeback Mountain, David Fincher‘s Zodiac, Denis Villeneuve‘s Prisoners, the transformative Nightcrawler, and even a superhero blockbuster stint as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Adjusted Score: 105452%
Critics Consensus: Restless, visually sleek, and powered by a lithe star performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler offers dark, thought-provoking thrills.
Adjusted Score: 105269%
Critics Consensus: Wildlife‘s portrait of a family in crisis is beautifully composed by director Paul Dano — and brought brilliantly to life by a career-best performance from Carey Mulligan.
Adjusted Score: 101702%
Critics Consensus: Finding the human story amidst the action, director Duncan Jones and charming Jake Gyllenhaal craft a smart, satisfying sci-fi thriller.
Adjusted Score: 93294%
Critics Consensus: Rich in sweet sincerity, intelligence, and good old-fashioned inspirational drama, October Sky is a coming-of-age story with a heart to match its Hollywood craftsmanship.
Adjusted Score: 114547%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Adjusted Score: 100461%
Critics Consensus: A quiet, dialogue-driven thriller that delivers with scene after scene of gut-wrenching anxiety. David Fincher also spends more time illustrating nuances of his characters and recreating the mood of the ’70s than he does on gory details of murder.
Adjusted Score: 103331%
Critics Consensus: Stronger rises on the power of its well-chosen ensemble to offer an emotionally resonant fact-based story that transcends inspirational drama clichés.
Adjusted Score: 97785%
Critics Consensus: A beautiful, epic Western, Brokeback Mountain’s love story is imbued with heartbreaking universality thanks to moving performances by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Adjusted Score: 96700%
Critics Consensus: The Sisters Brothers rides familiar genre trails in occasionally unexpected ways – a satisfying journey further elevated by its well-matched leading men.
Adjusted Score: 90859%
Critics Consensus: Richard Kelly’s debut feature Donnie Darko is a daring, original vision, packed with jarring ideas and intelligence and featuring a remarkable performance from Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled title character.
Adjusted Score: 102446%
Critics Consensus: Okja sees Bong Joon-ho continuing to create defiantly eclectic entertainment — and still hitting more than enough of his narrative targets in the midst of a tricky tonal juggling act.
Adjusted Score: 89412%
Critics Consensus: The bitingly truthful Lovely & Amazing is a smart and perceptive female character study.
Adjusted Score: 91654%
Critics Consensus: End of Watch has the energy, devotion to characters, and charismatic performances to overcome the familiar pitfalls of its genre and handheld format.
Adjusted Score: 86711%
Critics Consensus: A dark dramedy with exceptional performances from Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal, The Good Girl is a moving and astute look at the passions of two troubled souls in a small town.
Adjusted Score: 90241%
Critics Consensus: Prisoners has an emotional complexity and a sense of dread that makes for absorbing (and disturbing) viewing.
Adjusted Score: 91420%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted and lovely to look at, Nocturnal Animals further underscores writer-director Tom Ford’s distinctive visual and narrative skill.
Adjusted Score: 74990%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a strong performance from Jake Gyllenhaal and smart direction from Denis Villeneuve, Enemy hits the mark as a tense, uncommonly adventurous thriller.
Adjusted Score: 81698%
Critics Consensus: The Guilty is another Americanized remake overshadowed by the original, but its premise is still sturdy enough to support a tense, well-acted thriller.
Adjusted Score: 81072%
Critics Consensus: Everest boasts all the dizzying cinematography a person could hope to get out a movie about mountain climbers, even if it’s content to tread less challenging narrative terrain.
Adjusted Score: 78032%
Critics Consensus: Strange World is a Disney milestone in terms of representation — but as a storytelling experience, this dazzlingly animated adventure offers little audiences haven’t already seen.
Adjusted Score: 77480%
Critics Consensus: At top speed and with sirens wailing, Ambulance comes riding to the rescue for audiences facing an emergency shortage of Michael Bay action thrills.
Adjusted Score: 84965%
Critics Consensus: Life is just thrilling, well-acted, and capably filmed enough to overcome an overall inability to add new wrinkles to the trapped-in-space genre.
Adjusted Score: 69893%
Critics Consensus: It plays more like a traditional melodrama than the Susanne Bier film that inspired it, but Jim Sheridan’s Brothers benefits from rock-solid performances by its three leads.
Adjusted Score: 67382%
Critics Consensus: Though the story feels rather contrived, Moonlight Mile is redeemed by the good performances of its cast.
Adjusted Score: 67291%
Critics Consensus: Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins give exceptional performances in a film that intelligently tackles the territory between madness and genius.
Adjusted Score: 68733%
Critics Consensus: This first person account of the first Gulf War scores with its performances and cinematography but lacks an emotional thrust.
Adjusted Score: 71037%
Critics Consensus: If you only watch one art-world satire with horror overtones this year — or most others — it should probably be Velvet Buzzsaw.
Adjusted Score: 68344%
Critics Consensus: Jake Gyllenhaal delivers an impressively committed performance, but Southpaw beats it down with a dispiriting drama that pummels viewers with genre clichés.
Adjusted Score: 65766%
Critics Consensus: Demolition benefits from a stellar cast, even if their solid work isn’t always enough to prop up a confused story that aims for profundity but too often settles for clichés.
Adjusted Score: 55001%
Critics Consensus: It’s a pleasure to see Hollywood produce a romance this refreshingly adult, but Love and Other Drugs struggles to find a balance between its disparate plot elements.
Adjusted Score: 53262%
Critics Consensus: While it might be a passable diversion for younger viewers, Spirit Untamed is a middling sequel that lacks the essential energy suggested by its title.
Adjusted Score: 53010%
Critics Consensus: The impressive cast cannot rescue Rendition, which explores complex issues in woefully simplified terms.
Adjusted Score: 53364%
Critics Consensus: The Day After Tomorrow is a ludicrous popcorn thriller filled with clunky dialogue, but spectacular visuals save it from being a total disaster.
Adjusted Score: 45472%
Critics Consensus: It doesn’t offer much in the way of substance, but Prince of Persia is a suitably entertaining swashbuckler — and a substantial improvement over most video game adaptations.
Adjusted Score: 33489%
Critics Consensus: Bubble Boy bounces along with lame, offensive jokes that are more tasteless than funny.
Adjusted Score: 8384%
Critics Consensus: Cobbling together an unfinished satire on the healthcare system and contorting it into a dopey romance, Accidental Love is a cynical repurposing of unrealized potential.