365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

Six Pack

May 4, 2017

This is a new feature to my movie blog in which I will compile my six favorite movies for a given topic. Since I most recently reviewed the movie Life, a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal, my first six pack will be my six favorite Gyllenhaal performances.

  1. Nightcrawler - Jake was 100% creepy as an isolated loner who spends his time in a drab apartment listening to a police scanner so he can be first on the scene with his video camera. He is the videographer equivalent to an ambulance chaser, which is a lawyer who tries to be the first on the scene of an accident to secure potential clients. Jake lost 30 pounds to play the role of Lou Bloom a sickly looking, unemployed, low-level thief. His social awkwardness prohibits him from securing gainful employment, mostly because he frightens other people by his mere presence. The movie is incredibly graphic, highly disturbing, and one that will stick with you long after you are through watching it. Gyllenhaal is the highlight of this pulse-pounding thriller. He is compelling as Lou, a man who, despite his awkwardness, knows exactly what to say and when to say it, often sacrificing any possible morals his character might have for his own personal gain.
  2. Southpaw -
  3. Love and Other Drugs -
  4. Brothers - If you've seen Brothers, imagine for a  second if Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire had switched rules. Imagine if Gyllenhaal experiencing the PTSD after being presumed dead in a war in Afghanistan and Maguire was the kind one who had moved in to raise his brother's kids and ultimately fell in love with his brother's wife? The movie would have worked. It might have even worked better. Gyllenhaal is great at playing the nice guy, but so is Maguire. Gyllenhaal could make an amazing villain whereas, I felt, Maguire struggled with this. In any case....



  1. Nocturnal Animals -
  2. Brokeback Mountain - To date, this is the only movie that Gyllenhaal has been nominated for; Brokeback Mountain is a love story between Jack (Gyllenhaal) and Enis (Heath Ledger), two 20-something-year-olds who are hired for the summer to tend sheep on a Wyoming mountainside in 1963. The two fall in love and develop an ongoing relationship that lasts over the years and is a secret to everyone, including their wives. Gyllenhaal, the more outgoing and secure of the two, plays second fiddle (in a way) to Ledger who gets most of the top scenes as he's the one who struggles more with denying his sexual identity than Jack does. While Jack is more willing to put his love out there and risk everything, Enis tries to hold everything inside until frustration overwhelms him. It's a heartwarming story that is driven by the two leads as well as the near perfect direction of Ang Lee and a score that you'll never forget. Released in 2005, there were more moviegoers who were more tentative to see this movie than there would be in 2017. I did see it the theater, with my mom and, at the time girlfriend, and was moved by the subtlety of the movie and its overwhelming message that love is universal and the fact that some of us have to hide our true feelings because of society, religion, or whatever else is a true shame.