Since the beginning of Adam Driver's career, which really only started in 2012, he's been busy at work taking on all sorts of diverse roles. His newest exploit has him portraying the former head of the Gucci fashion house, Maurizio Gucci. This Ridley Scott-directed film "House of Gucci" will explore the details behind Maurizio's complicated marriage to his wife Patrizia Reggiani and the events led up to her plotting his murder. Driver has been able to work with Scott two times this year, with their other film "The Last Duel" only just hitting theaters last month. So, as we wait to see what Adam Driver has in store for "House of Gucci," we decided to pull together a ranked list of his top 10 best performances in movies.
Ranked last on our list of Adam Driver movies, but certainly not bad by any means is this flick. Driver gives us a particularly entertaining performance as he tries to manage his co-star Jonathan Pryce whose sole purpose is to be so ridiculously over-the-top that Driver's character can barely stand it. Driver is constantly trying to reign in this self-proclaimed "Don Quixote" from his fantasy world as they both set off on this adventure of lunacy. We believe this flick deserves a spot on the list because Driver gets to let loose and show off his comedic side a bit.
Some may look at this film as a fairly slow-paced flick where staffer Daniel Jones (Adam Driver) pours through a plethora of documents to create a 6,200-page report on the CIA's use of torture. But only an actor like Driver can make it so much more than that. Driver demonstrates his ability to depict this slow-burning conflict with a very realistic portrayal of the rising tension one would experience in this painstakingly frustrating and possibly career-ending circumstance. This performance is one where the power of his words doesn't come from the volume of his voice.
This Martin Scorsese-directed film has Driver playing a Jesuit priest named Father Francisco Garupe. Driver went through a pretty drastic change losing roughly 50 pounds for the role. He and his co-star Andrew Garfield went through a 7-day Jesuit silent prayer vigil in preparation as well. We see a side of Driver that we haven't quite seen before. And it's one of pure anguish. His character comes in with the best of intentions following his faith in Christianity. In return, he's tortured almost up until the very end of the film. Of the movies on our list, if we were choosing which role Adam Driver was the most method in his acting, this would be ranked number one.
We're deeming this flick as Driver's most theatrical performance. It's a complicated plot that follows the life of husband and wife who fall in love and quickly begin to build a family. With resentment and jealously in his heart of his wife's thriving career, we see some turmoil in paradise that spirals into tragedy. What we appreciate in this performance is we get to see a bit of some showmanship from Driver. His character is a stand-up comedian. And he has an interesting act that we see in this film. Because this is also a musical, we get a taste of Driver's singing voice which is not too shabby.
Here you'll find another one of Driver's more comedic performances. He plays a West Virginia man named Clyde Logan who only has one arm. We get to see Driver's ability to deliver us a smoother than molasses Southern drawl. If you're looking for the film that really lets Driver's comedic side shine, then this flick is the one you should watch. Every time you see this straight-faced Adam Driver say the word "cauliflower" with his thick accent, you'll see why this was one of the movies that ranked a bit higher on the list.
The Last Duel
This film marks Driver's first time working with legendary director Ridley Scott. We can confidently say that even acting alongside co-stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Jodie Comer, Driver steals the show. Because of the way this production was filmed, the actors had to film almost identical takes. There were the most minor notes of change based on which of the character's perspectives was being shown. The intricacies between scenes were so particular that having a skilled actor like Driver really brought them to life in the most subtle of ways. Also, we consider this to possibly be Driver's most heinous role to date. And we're including his villainous Star Wars role in our thinking.
October 15, 2021
As we move up the list, we reach another one of Driver's more diverse roles. Just before this film's release, Driver was already on his way to becoming a household name. But his performance in this flick alongside John David Washington gave him even more notoriety. This role also earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Based on the actual events that occurred, Driver took on the persona of a Jewish officer named Flip Zimmerman. He was working undercover with African American detective Ron Stallworth in hopes to take down a local Ku Klux Klan chapter. Driver's ability to flip and switch between these two very different personas is something to be acknowledged. Director Spike Lee when talking about Driver and his performance said, "He's a beast!"
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
For Star Wars fans, we're sure they'd argue that his performance should be number one. But at least it made the top three! No matter where Driver's career takes him, he will always be seen as the commander of the First Order, Kylo Ren. When Driver nabbed the role as the new antagonist for the latest Star Wars trilogy, he couldn't have known that his life would change forever. His gift of being able to give audiences the most dry, deadpan delivery of a line when the script asks for it is why he was born to play this role. This emotionless character with diabolically grand ambitions is one that you'll find in the top 10 of any Star Wars villains list.
The simplicity of this film and director Jim Jarmusch’s vision is what makes it so touching and even more powerful. With other films that seem to have so much going on, this film has Driver following the same routine that many of us may follow as well. But it also shows us that in his simple life, he's ultimately happy. He's very content with his day job. He's happy with this relationship. He'll write occasional poems here and there to explore his creative side. And he'll enjoy a beer at the end of the day. It might not sound like too much, but Driver's performance is what really makes us feel what he feels. It's as if we're riding on that bus with him.
There's no doubt in our mind that this is currently the best performance we've seen from Adam Driver in film. This story is one that whether you've been married, divorced, or even just been through a bad breakup, you'll relate to it. We can certainly acknowledge that Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Arthur Fleck in "Joker" deserved the 2019 Oscar win. But we would choose Driver as a very close second. Driver is completely unhinged as him and Scarlett Johansson tear into each other while also supporting each other emotionally through stressful and complicated divorce proceedings. If you want to see the heights that Driver can reach and really see the range that he's capable of, you NEED to watch this. And it's a Netflix original so you can watch it right now.
November 6, 2019
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.