Iconic Roles: The Best Jesse Eisenberg Movies

Iconic roles is a look at some of the best performances in film and television by actors and actresses.

After appearing in numerous films and television shows, Oscar-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg will put his skills to work behind the camera for the first time in his career for When you’re done saving the world. The film premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, but it’s only coming to theaters in the US now. It stars Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard in a drama series that follows the ups and downs of a mother-son relationship.

Here’s a list of the best Jesse Eisenberg movies to watch before (or after) When you’re done saving the world.

Columbus in Zombieland (2009)

2009 was the year Eisenberg really showed the potential of his acting skills to a wider audience. Within a few months, he was cast as James Brennan Wonderland followed by Columbus in Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland. Eisenberg portrayed a guy who had to do whatever it took to survive a zombie apocalypse. In his quest to return home to Columbus, Ohio, he met other survivors and went on crazy adventures with zombies on his tail. Eisenberg’s Columbus is a bit dull, but generally likable character (as is often the case with the people he portrays on screen).

It became one of the highest-grossing zombie films in history, grossing more than $102 million at the box office. Zombieland also starring Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and Bill Murray. Most of the cast reprized their characters in the sequel Zombieland: Double Tapincluding Eisenberg.

Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (2010)

David Fincher took on the task of directing one of the films that explored how the world changed after social networks were invented. Map, The social network explores how Mark Zuckerberg found Facebook and developed the idea and the subsequent power struggle between Zuckerberg and his friend and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield). Eisenberg took narcissism and social awkwardness to another level and mixed them up with brilliant intuition and business acumen to portray Zuckerberg. His efforts were rewarded with an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

J. Daniel Atlas in Now You See Me (2013)

Now you see me was a pleasant surprise that brought a breath of fresh air to the heist genre. Four magicians known as “The Four Horsemen” pulled off one of the craziest heists ever attempted. FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) seeks to bring the magicians to justice, but nothing is as it seems. Portraying the leader of The Four Horsemen, Eisenberg looked especially easy at being the frontman, showing chemistry with longtime colleague Woody Harrelson (here in the role of a sharp mentalist).

The film also starred Mélanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. The film was successful enough to receive a sequel in 2016. A third film in the franchise has been announced, with Eisenberg still attached to the franchise.

David Lipsky in The End of the Tour (2015)

The James Ponsoldt-directed drama follows the true story of writer and journalist David Lipsky’s encounter with novelist David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel). The pair met during Wallace’s book tour following the publication of Endless joke when Lipsky managed to convince his editor to assign him to interview Wallace. Both Eisenberg and Segel gave their best performances as the main characters, and the result is a delightful but heartbreaking drama. The end of the Tour had a limited theatrical release that ended up grossing $3 million.

Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

A few years later, Clark Kent saved the world Man of steelhe ended up clashing with Gotham’s Dark Night in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In reality, Lex Luthor’s master plan was behind the clash of superheroes. Fans had mixed reactions when it was first announced that Eisenberg would portray Luthor, pointing out that he was too young for the role. Still, the actor left his mark on the character by portraying an intellectual Lex Luthor who matched his enemies’ superpowers with his brain power.

Eisenberg returned as Luthor in 2017 Justice League and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but the character’s future is up in the air with the new direction Warner Bros. gives to the DC Universe. One can only wonder what might have happened had the Snyderverse not imploded for several reasons. The ensemble featured, among others, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Jeremy Irons and Holly Hunter.

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