5. ZodiacFrom political cartoonist to obsessed detective and author, Jake Gyllenhaal's character in David Fincher's strange serial killer flick loses everything, including his wife and kid. His determination is painstakingly captured by Fincher who commanded up to 90 takes to get the performance he wanted from the stressed out star.
4. PrisonersThis time playing a real detective and up against a seriously unhinged Hugh Jackman, Gyllenhaal still more than holds his own in Prisoners. Some might consider his constant blinking a bit of an obvious trait, but it adds a brilliantly nervous tension to a character who is caught up in a hideously tense case.
3. Donnie DarkoGyllenhaal finally got a decent break as disturbed teen Donnie Darko after the abominable likes of Bubble Boy. Moody, dark and funny, Donnie became an instant icon of teen angst.
2. Brokeback Mountain
In a way, the late Heath Ledger had the easier role here. He was a repressed ball of rage, ready to lock down his homosexuality into a dark hole within himself. Gyllenhaal had to be the believable gay cowboy; the guy that was open to his feelings and willing to take a chance with another man.
1. End of WatchDavid Ayer's film is a blistering found footage cop thriller set on the mean streets of LA. Gyllenhaal is our guide; a cocksure cop hitting on Anna Kendrick while catching the bad guys on camera. His banter with Michael Pena is awesome, his swagger and bravado only brought down by the gut wrenching finale.
What are your favourite Jake Gyllenhaal performances?
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PS Here is the trailer for Nightcrawler which looks like a whole bag of awesome: