Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, look back at the most memorable Oscar Isaac movies!
The original Star Wars trilogy made Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher into movie stars. When Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, it may do the same thing for Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, two thirds of the new heroic trio introduced in the movie. But the film’s other male lead, Oscar Isaac, is already a star. Even before the highly-anticipated Star Wars sequel, the list of Oscar Isaac movies includes films like Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis and next summer’s X-Men: Apocalypse movie. Combined with his starring turn in The Force Awakens, the future looks quite bright for Isaac within the next few years.
Before Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives in theaters, ComingSoon.net has created a retrospective of Oscar Isaac’s 13-year career as a professional actor and examined his ten most memorable movie roles.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: The Nativity Story (2006)
While Isaac made his film debut in 2002’s All About The Benjamins, his first major cinematic role came in The Nativity Story, in which he played Joseph of Judaea, the “father” of Jesus Christ, opposite Keisha Castle-Hughes as Mary. Unlike some other depictions of Jesus’ origins, Isaac’s Joseph was allowed to be angry about his wife’s sudden pregnancy before realizing the truth.
The Nativity Story was a modest hit that has the distinction of being the first movie to premiere in Vatican City.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: Balibo (2009)
Isaac’s next major role came in Balibo, which was based on the real story behind the murder of five journalists against the backdrop of Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor in 1975. Isaac played José Ramos-Horta, an official who leads journalist Roger East (Anthony LaPaglia) to uncover the fate of his murdered colleagues as Indonesian army advances. The real Roger East also fell victim to the violence of the invading army.
For his role in this film, Isaac won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: Sucker Punch (2011)
Within Zack Snyder’s layered fantasy Sucker Punch, Isaac portrayed Blue Jones, one of the film’s leading antagonists. Because most of the movie takes place inside the head of Babydoll (Emily Browning), the reality of the film is less than certain. In the early part of the movie, Blue Jones is simply a corrupt orderly. But in Babydoll’s initial fantasy, Blue is a mobster who keeps the female prisoners/patients as sex slaves for the highest bidder.
While Sucker Punch wasn’t the huge hit that some expected it to be, it was still Isaac’s highest-grossing movie to that point.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: Drive (2011)
Oscar Isaac’s role in Drive was brief, but he was in that movie as Standard Gabriel, the father of Benicio (Kaden Leos) and husband to Irene (Carey Mulligan), both of whom are befriended by Ryan Gosling’s unnamed driver. Isaac’s role was a relatively small one in the movie, but it was his actions that forced the driver to undertake a dangerous heist at the heart of the film.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Isaac’s breakout role came as the title character of Inside Llewyn Davis. As conceived by writers and directors Joel and Ethan Coen, Llewyn Davis was a folk singer with a self-destructive streak. Isaac is also a musician in real life, which made his role as Llewyn Davis feel more authentic. He even performed several of the film’s songs live during filming.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: The Two Faces of January (2014)
Director Hossein Amini’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s The Two Faces of January was largely a showcase for both Isaac and his co-star, Viggo Mortensen. The film centered around Mortensen’s character, Chester MacFarland and Isaac’s Rydal, with MacFarland’s wife, Colette (Kirsten Dunst). Rydal was a small time scam artist who was drawn into the larger cons of Chester and his wife. And as the film unfolded, it became a question of which one would betray the others.
Very few moviegoers had the chance to see The Two Faces of January, but it was one of Isaac’s first leading roles and another important step in his evolution as a movie star.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: A Most Violent Year (2014)
Isaac’s next major film, A Most Violent Year, cast him in the lead opposite Jessica Chastain. They played Abel and Anna Morales, a married couple under siege by Abel’s competitors in the heating oil business, criminals, and an ongoing investigation by Assistant District Attorney Lawrence (David Oyelowo). Although Abel initially refuses to escalate to the level of violence used against his company, he gets more desperate over the course of the film to hold on to what is his.
A Most Violent Year flopped at the box office with under $6 million, but the film ended up on several critics’ top ten lists for 2014. Both Isaac and Chastain were widely praised for their performances in this movie.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: Ex Machina (2015)
Earlier this year, Isaac made his first jump to sci-fi in Ex Machina. He played Nathan Bateman, the creator of a seemingly human android (and artificial intelligence) named Ava (Alicia Vikander). However, Ava had her own ideas about what it meant to be human and her own plans to escape while using a man named Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) as her accomplice.
Ex Machina was one of the more original science fiction movies in the last several years, and there’s an outside chance that it could garner more attention when the awards season gets under way.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
In just over a month, Isaac will join the Star Wars universe as Poe Dameron, the best X-wing fighter in the galaxy. Very little is known about the story, but Isaac’s character is one of the new heroic trio with Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn. If the previous Star Wars trilogies are any indication, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Poe, Rey, and Finn in the next two episodic Star Wars movies as well.
Oscar Isaac Movies Spotlight: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Isaac is playing the title character in X-Men: Apocalypse. In Marvel’s comic book universe, En Sabah Nur a.k.a. Apocalypse may have been the first mutant on Earth. Apocalypse is also mutant supremacist who believes that only the strong should survive the new world that he is creating.
In X-Men: Apocalypse, Magneto (Michael Fassbender), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn) and Archangel (Ben Hardy) will serve as the Four Horsemen of Apocalypse as a new team of X-Men scrambles to stop them.