7. The Patriot (2000)
This epic historical war movie takes place in rural Berkeley County, South Carolina and narrates the story of an American Colonist. He is swept in the American Revolutionary war after his family is threatened. This fictional figure has been based on four real life figures from the war – Thomas Sumter, Daniel Morgan, Francis Marion and Andrew Pickens.
This movie opened #2 domestically in the opening weekend, grossing $22,413,710. It was a success overseas generating $215,294,342. Ledger managed to make his mark even with Gibson’s strong presence. He won Blockbuster Entertainment award for Favorite Male – Newcomer.
6. 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
This adorable romantic comedy is a favorite of many. This movie is the modernization of ‘The Taming of Shrew’ William Shakespeare’s 16th century comedy, retold in a high school setting. Cameron has fallen for Bianca but she isn’t allowed to start dating till her ill-tempered elder sister, Kat starts to date.
This movie opened #2 in domestic box office behind The Matrix and grossed US$8,330,681 in its opening weekend. This was a major breakthrough for Gordon-Levitt, Ledger, and Stiles, all of them were nominated for a series of awards for their performances. Ledger and Stiles had an amazing chemistry and showcased stand out performances.
5. Two Hands (1999)
This movie is about a teen aged strip club promoter who is barely scraping by till he is offered a shot by a local crime lord to work for him. He jumps at the chance to deliver a costly package but ends up indebted to the dangerous gangster after the package is robbed from him. He must come up with a scheme to save himself and his love from a brutal end.
This movie was a moderate success and grossed $5,478,485 at Australian box office. Ledger was excellent in the lead with the right amount of savviness and innocence. He earned a number of nominations, including AFI award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role and FCCA award for Best Actor – Male.
4. I’m Not There (2007)
This biographical musical drama movie is inspired from the life and music of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Dylan’s character was portrayed by six different actors in different facets of his life.
This movie was a success and the entire cast was appreciated for their roles. The most impressive performance of all was by Bale and Ledger. The movie and the actors earned a series of nominations, including an Oscar nomination.
3. Monster’s Ball (2001)
This American drama movie narrates the story of a widowed correction officer, his father and his son, who all work as executioners in a state prison. He falls for a woman who he doesn’t realize is a widow of a man he himself executed.
Another one of Ledger’s memorable performance. Even though, he made a relatively short appearance in the movie, but his appearance was intense making him stand out.
2. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
This neo-western romantic drama movie is adapted from a short story of same name published in 1997 by Annie Proulx. It depicts the complex sexual and emotional relation between Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar from 1963 to 1983 in American West.
This movie was a commercial success and received critical acclaim. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning three. The movie won a number of other awards and nominations. This movie clearly belonged to Ledger who gave an extraordinary performance. He was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, BAFTA Film Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. He won the AFI International Award for Best Actor, as well as the ACCA award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
1. The Dark Knight (2008)
“Whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you… stranger.” – The Joker.
This pretty much sums up the joker in one line. The movie that gave us one of the best villains of all time, thanks to Ledger. This movie broke numerous records and received highly positive reviews. It was labeled as the best movie of 2008. It generated more than $1 billion worldwide. It is fourth movie in history to earn more than $1 billion.
This movie is a sequel to Batman Begins and is the second installment in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. The final movie, The Dark Knight Rises was released in 2012. This movie came out six months after Ledger’s death, making it his last movie.
Ledger won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his insane performance as the Joker. He won a series of other awards for this role, including a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture and BAFTA Film award for Best Supporting Actor.
Gone too soon, Heath Ledger proved himself as an outstanding actor at a young age. Something numerous actors struggle to do so early in their career. With various memorable roles under his belt, his portrayal of the Joker is indeed the most mesmerizing and breathtaking one. He started off from the place where other Jokers left off – the sheer fun of insanity, psychotic freak, and sadism. His portrayal of the Joker left no doubt about the fact that he was the most audacious actor of this generation.
Did we miss any of the best Heath Ledger movies of all time? Let us know in the comments below!