Home Arts & Entertainment 15 Best Jared Leto Movies, Ranked

15 Best Jared Leto Movies, Ranked

by Atlanta Business Journal

From playing a teen heartthrob, a transgender woman dying of AIDS, a douchey businessman, the man who killed John Lennon, the Joker and so much more—it seems as though Jared Leto has really done it all. He’s won an Academy Award and toured all over the world as the lead man in 30 Seconds to Mars. However, all anyone seems to talk about when they mention Jared Leto is the critical failures in the recent years of his career, which includes Suicide Squad and Morbius. It’s important to note that Leto only appeared in Suicide Squad for roughly 10 minutes and the film, along with the script, was an utter disaster, not specifically Leto’s take on the infamous DC villain. With that being said, Leto’s a household name whose consistency booked work and an impressive resume to back up his acting chops.

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Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Believe it or not, this was the first film Leto ever won an award for an on-camera performance. He stepped away from acting for seven years to pursue his dreams—touring and making music as the lead singer for the rock-band 30 Seconds To Mars. For this role, Leto lost 40 pounds and waxed his entire body in order to accurately play a transgender woman named Rayon dying of AIDS. Rayon’s heartbreaking encounter with her father soon before she dies is hard to watch with a dry eye. This is undoubtedly Leto’s best performance and earned him his Oscar win for best supporting actor.

One of the best films to ever exist, and no, it’s not because I may or may not have a poster in my room of Paul Allen’s business card. Twenty-two years after its release this film is still referenced everywhere in pop culture. “Let’s see Paul Allen’s card,” Christian Bale famously says. Unfortunately for Leto, he gets axed to his death by Huey Lewis’ “Hip To Be Square.”

Not a movie but a documentary. Leto steps away from the characters and is simply himself in this filming capturing the time when Thirty Seconds To Mars was recording their third album “This Is War.” During the months they were making the album, the band was ironically sued for thirty-million dollars by their record label EMI. Also, fun fact! The documentary was actually directed by Leto but he uses the stage name Bartholomew Cubbins, a Dr. Seuss character.


Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

This has been the most critically successful film of Leto’s since Dallas Buyers Club. It received a high 88 percentile on Rotten Tomatoes, rightfully so as it’s one of the most visually stunning films to come out in the past decade. Also, Leto plays another villain, Niander Wallace who is blind. And in true Jared Leto fashion—he blinded himself during the filming


Requiem for a Dream (2000)

A film too disturbing to watch twice. Directed by Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) , this thrilling watch takes you on the ride of living vicariously through the life of three young people addicted to heroin, and an older woman who grew a dependency to amphetamines prescribed by her doctor as “diet pills.” All of which failed to pursue their dreams due to their crippling addictions In preparation for the role, Leto spent time with heroin users and was said to have shot up water in his veins to have some sort of understanding of what it’s like for people using the drug.

This is definitely one of the weirdest yet most interesting Jared Leto movies on this list. Leto is the longest living man on Earth and as he’s come to his old age he imagines what his life could’ve been like—in three different scenarios.

A classic in David Fincher’s discography. Leto bleached his hair and eyebrows to play Angel Face for his first time working with Fincher. Again, not a major role, but another majorly successful film to add to his list of experience.


Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

The redemption to Leto’s hate he received from playing the Joker in Suicide Squad. The Joker appears right at the end of the movie to share some words with Batfleck. Interesting to say this film didn’t get Leto anywhere near as much hate as Suicide Squad did… almost because the movie itself is just better.

Leto’s famous “method” acting career really got its start here. He downed heated up pints of haagen dazs ice cream mixed with soy sauce and olive oil before bed and gained 67 pounds to accurately portray Mark Chapman, the man who assassinated John Lennon. While it’s not the most exciting watch on a Friday night, Leto’s preparation made his performance a stand out in his career.

This marked the second time David Fincher and Leto teamed up on a project. I believe this movie solidified a huge change in Leto’s career as the role shift’s the public’s perception of him as just a pretty face to an actual serious actor. After all, what’s more serious than a home invasion movie, right?


Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Winona Ryder, Angela Jolie, Brittney Murphy and Jared Leto, need I say anything else? Even though Leto is only in a few scenes in the film he plays the love interest of Ryder’s character in one of the most memorable movies of the late ‘90.


The Cool and the Crazy (1994)

A film no one really talks about. While it has its flaws as a TV movie, Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) and Leto make a captivating watch as a couple whose desires for adultery turn into a violent predicament.

Surprisingly enough Leto didn’t go full method for this role and gained weight to play Paolo Gucci instead he used prosthetics. Yes, this film has received his share of memes online. However, you deny it didn’t leave you with wanting to see Lady Gaga and Leto collab together again in some way.


The Little Things (2020)

Jared Leto in another antagonist role—we love that! Despite the reviews, The Little Things is a fun watch if you’re into thriller/crime movies. It’s also a star-packed cast that includes Denzel Washington and Rami Malik as the protagonists—detectives.


My So Called Life (1994-1995)

A tv show instead of a movie, however, the character of Jordan Catalano is what started Leto’s character. Yes, many young girls only watched the show to stare at him. It still remains a highly talked about coming-of-age show referenced in pop culture.

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