Every Oscar Isaac Film – Part Two : Drama, Crime, War, and More

Oscar Isaac Part Two

Welcome to Part Two of the Oscar Isaac movie (and some shows) marathon.  We’re going to tackle the serious stuff in this part, so prepare yourself accordingly.

Not a fan of geek stuff or comedies?  Not to worry.  This second half of the Oscar Isaac list will tackle everything else.  As his career tends to lean towards the more dramatic side of things, this part of the list is going to be quite a bit longer.  He also got a lot of action-adventure roles, typically revolving around war or crime, which is fairly normal for any young and pretty Hollywood actor.  You’ll find those young and pretty actor staples here on this list as well.

There’s a lot of common aspects to his dramatic roles.  He plays many characters with accents (often Russian or a specific regional American accent), has his hair drastically changed a hell of a lot (particularly in his early career), and gets cheated or is ‘the other man’ in a huge chunk of his serious work.  Hell, that part even extends to his geek stuff, too.  Marc Spector has a Chicago accent and had his wife cheat on him, and Steven Grant was the one who made a move on his wife.  But these dramatic depictions of these tropes is a lot less joyful than Marc, Steven and Layla, who seem to have some sort of agreement by the end.  It usually ends up with him (permanently) dead or severely traumatized.

How To Use This List

This is the second lists of Oscar Isaac films and shows.  See part one here.

I’ve chosen to place all the more serious stuff in this part.  This will include dramas, psychological horror, thrillers, biopics, war, and crime films.

I will warn for potentially triggering things, like graphic violence, abortion, racism, and so on.  There are many triggers out there, though, so it’s possible I could miss something.  If you have a specific trigger, I recommend doing additional research on these titles before watching them. (Editor’s Note: I recommend doesthedogdie.com to check for potential triggers! It has a pretty comprehensive list.)

Finally, I will tell you if Oscar Isaac’s character dies (which they tend to do a lot).  Please highlight the text to reveal this spoiler.  I’ve attempted to make each explanation longer than a simple “yes” or “no” to hide the spoilers better in the blacked out text.

So without much further ado, let’s move on to part two.

My Favorite (Non-Geeky) Oscar Isaac Films

While I’m primarily drawn to geeky things, that’s not my only interest.  I love a well-done drama, too.  So here are a few other favorites of mine that don’t fit in the ‘geek’ category.  These are the ones I recommend if someone generally asks “what Oscar Isaac movie should I watch?”  Even the non-diehard fans should give these movies a chance.  They’re really good!

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Amazon Prime Video
Warnings: Abortion
Role: Main Character – Llewyn Davis
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Nope, Thankfully

Oscar Isaac Inside Llewyn DavisWhat’s not to love with this one?  Oscar Isaac singing? And cuddling a cat?  And wearing a slightly disheveled outfit with fingerless gloves and perfectly scruffy hair?  Perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

This is a Coen brothers film, so you know you’re going to get something interesting here.  In this case, we get a period comedy-drama about a struggling musician trying to make his way in the world. 

This is often referred to as his “breakout role” and I can certainly see why.  This came out just a couple years before his popularity absolutely exploded from Star Wars.  So I guess we all have the Coen brothers to thank for our boy’s career absolutely blowing up in the mid teens, right? Thank you dearly, Coen brothers.  We owe you one.

Adam Driver is also in this film, so we get a pretty interesting scene with Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren totally jamming out with Justin Timberlake.  Amazing, honestly.

A World of Calm: S1E07: Noodles (2020)

HBO Max
Role: Narrator
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : lol no

Gaze upon this field of reeds as Oscar Isaac gently talks about noodles
Gaze upon this field of reeds as Oscar Isaac gently talks about noodles

This is basically Oscar Isaac Noodle ASMR.  Listen to him as he calmly talks about noodles for 20 minutes.  No, his face doesn’t appear at all. But that’s fine.  This is perfect if you want to just listen to something calming for a while. 

Don’t look too deeply into this one.  The world is a messy place and this is the simple type of content we could all use right now.

Just turn it on, relax, and enjoy.

The Letter Room (2020)

Amazon Prime Video
Warnings: Heavy Focus on the Death Penalty
Role: Main Character – Richard
Does Oscar Isaac Die? :
Nope, he doesn’t.

This was a pretty interesting little film.  It’s a short one, clocking in at just 33 minutes, but it packs in a lot of content at that time.

Oscar Isaac plays a prison guard who gets ‘promoted’ to the letter room.  It’s not really much of a promotion, though.  He’s basically shut in a room with mail all day, which is in no way a step up from his previous job.  He’s tasked with reading all the inmates’ mail, scanning it, and delivering it to them in their cells. 

Throughout the short film, he gets drawn into the lives of a couple death row inmates through this assignment.  Isaac’s character is empathetic to a fault, though. He’s also quite awkward and a bit of a doormat, which makes dealing with people in such a vulnerable position a bit of a challenge.  I still found myself liking him and cheering on his attempts at helping the death row inmates as their execution dates draw near, even if he approached it awkwardly.

Pu-239 (2006)

HBO Max
Warnings: Violence, Murder
Role: Main Character – Shiv
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes, sadly. One of the many characters of his that gets shot in the chest.

Oscar Isaac is so very very young here.  He’s the very first voice you hear in the film, which is an absolute treat and an immediate assurance that he’s significant to the plot.  While he was definitely an unknown here, you can still see his raw talent in every aspect of his acting with this role.

The character is a low level Russian gangster and he sports a heavy accent (a common thing in many of his roles), slicked back hair, and usually a heavy red leather jacket.  Despite the seriousness of the story, he brings an interesting sense of humor to the role, along with a lot of nuance for a part that could have easily become a shallow archetype.  That’s part of the charm of Oscar Isaac, though.  The man can make magic happen with practically any character.

The story follows a man who is exposed to a fatal dose of radiation, who then resorts to selling stolen Pu-239 to provide for his family.  Isaac plays the shady man who helps the protagonist try to find a buyer for his stolen substance.  The story focuses on Isaac’s character’s struggles parallel to the protagonist.  He’s essentially the second lead of the film.  It’s worth a watch for sure.

Card Counter (2021)

HBO Max
Warnings: Abuse, War Crimes, Murder
Role: Main Character – William Tell
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No (but it’s not a joyful ending)

This one is quite brutal and I waffled back and forth on whether to include it under my ‘favorites’ as a result.  He plays a former soldier who was convicted for his participation in the Abu Ghraib torture case. This means you see him doing war crimes in a couple of scenes.  Most of the film takes place after he gets out of prison, though.  He passed his time locked up by reading and learning to count cards.  Once he’s released, he becomes a professional gambler. 

He’s incredibly intense in this role.  There were multiple moments where I had to pause the film and collect myself because he goes so hard here and kind of scared the crap out of me.  You need to be in the right headspace to contend with his intensity here, because it will affect you.  The story is also incredibly tragic, so if you aren’t prepared for an immense amount of sadness, put this one aside until you’re in a better place.

I’m not sure if I actually ‘enjoyed’ this one or not, but I’m placing it under my ‘favorites’ anyway.  If I’m judging it one whether or not it moved me emotionally, it succeeded.  Likewise, if I’m judging Oscar Isaac’s acting prowess, this one nails that, too.  It didn’t leave me feeling great, though.  I suppose that’s not always the goal of a film.  Perhaps this pained feeling the film left me with was the point.

The Promise (2016)

Hulu
Warnings: Graphic Violence, Genocide
Role: Main Character – Mikael Boghosian
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No, but there’s other major character deaths.

This film is about the Armenian genocide.  It got mixed reviews from critics, but I think it was pretty well executed.  It was educational about specific events from the genocide that most people don’t know about.  When you start Googling the place names and events mentioned in the film, you’ll find articles about major incidents from the genocide.  Most notably it shows the roundup of intellectuals in Istanbul and the Musa Dagh defense.

If I have one criticism of the film, it’s that the love triangle feels incredible unnecessary.  I feel like they were trying to weave romance and history together like Titanic did, but it just didn’t work here.  If we’d just have followed the characters without the love triangle, or just made it an outright romance instead, it’d have been nearly perfect.  Everything else about the film is perfect, though, so I can set aside this annoying bit and still enjoy the hell out of it.

Balibo (2009)

Peacock TV
Warnings: Graphic Violence, Murder
Role: Supporting Character – José Ramos-Horta
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No. In fact, the character he plays was just elected president of East Timor.

I had never heard of the Balibo Five before and was absolutely enthralled by their story.  Perhaps it’s more well known in Australia, since that’s where the journalists mostly originally came from, but this was a brand new story for me.  After watching the film I spent a couple hours researching them because I was just so curious about the incident.  I also didn’t know how East Timor came to be, and this film along with my additional research was an interesting history lesson.

Oscar Isaac plays a bodyguard and guide for a journalist who is attempting to find the five missing men in the town of Balibo.  Their search is hampered by Indonesia’s invasion of the country, with blocked roads and sniper fire from helicopters making their journey incredibly dangerous.

I highly recommend this film, even if Oscar Isaac wasn’t in it.  But he is, so yay! 

The Serious Oscar Isaac Stuff

This next set of Oscar Isaac films are what I’m going to call the “serious stuff.”  I’m going to place dramas, horror, and thriller films that don’t fit under any of the other categories under this category. That means it’s a fairly eclectic collection of his work, so read the descriptions to know if you’ll vibe with it or not.

Scenes From A Marriage (2022)

HBO Max
Warnings: Abortion
Role: Main Character – Jonathan Levy
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Nope, but he’s really sad and that also sucks.

If you like 1) bearded Oscar Isaac and 2) character study-focused Oscar Isaac, this one is probably for you! These are, as the title implies, scenes from a marriage.  Granted, it’s quite a dysfunctional one and not exactly a joy to watch.

Each episode begins with either Jessica Chastain or Oscar Isaac as themselves on set, making their way through a masked crew (this was filmed during the pandemic) on their way to their place on set.  These scenes then transition directly into the characters.  It’s a really interesting format and makes their acting stand out even more.  Watching the transition from actor to character is a unique moment to include in the story and not something you really see on screen.

As a disclaimer, heterosexual romance dramas are usually not my thing.  As a result, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the genres I’m more drawn to.  But that’s not the show’s fault at all.  It’s just a genre mismatch with my own personal interests.  If you strip away this personal bias, this is probably one of the highest quality projects on this list.   As a result, he was nominated for both an Golden Globe and a SAG award.  Unfortunately he did not win either.  But that’s okay.  He’s got a Golden Globe from Show Me A Hero already anyway.  And now he has a shot at an Emmy for this one, too.

 

Life Itself (2018)

Amazon Prime Video
Warnings: Graphic Suicide, Graphic Description of Violence, Childhood Molestation, Trauma
Role: Main Character – Will Dempsey
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes. He graphically shoots himself in the head. It’s awful.

This is a fairly poorly rated film on places like Rotten Tomatoes, and I can see why.  It doesn’t balance the humor and dark topics with any sort of grace, and as a result it can be rather offensive and disrespectful to the delicate topics it’s trying to tackle.  It’s hard to balance dark humor and drama.  This isn’t an easy skill to master.  Unfortunately this film fails.  I have to wonder if it had been in the hands of someone more skilled at this sort of balance if it’d have been more enjoyable at all. 

Despite this, I did enjoy Oscar Isaac’s performance.  The strange writing is not his fault, and his comedic timing still hits the right notes even if the writing didn’t give him decent material to work with.  I desperately wish he had more opportunities in his career to be funny, because he’s really good at it.  Do pay attention to the spoilers above, because it includes some additional details regarding his fate that I feel are more important than most of the others on this list.

Lightningface (2017)

LightningFace.com
Warnings:Suicide (?)
Role: Main Character – Basil Stitt
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : I think so. I mean, I interpret the ending as him jumping out a window, but when you watch it you’ll understand why I’m a bit confused.

This short film is strange, but intriguing. It’s worth a watch to see Oscar Isaac doing something a bit different, but be prepared for strangeness.  That’s not a bad thing, but it’s worth noting.  Hell, as a fan of Taika Waititi, do I have any room to judge weird things?  No.  No, I do not.

He plays a character who is struck by lightning and goes through what’s described as a ‘transformative’ experience.  The ‘transformative’ experience to me reads as a slow descent into psychosis, but your interpretation may vary.  It’s so hard to explain this one, man.  Just watch it. It’s incredibly short.

 

The Two Faces of January (2014)

Hulu
Warnings: Graphic Violence, Murder
Role: Main Character
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No, but we’re meant to think he did for a second

Oscar Isaac Two Faces of JanuaryThis is another role that comes before he blew up with Star Wars hype.  It’s a fairly standard thriller set against a 1960s European tourism backdrop.  Oscar Isaac is charming as a smooth American scam artist who gets sucked into the orbit of a wealthy con man and his wife. 

If you’re looking for a sexy escapist period thriller, this is kind of perfect.  That’s not typically my thing so if your taste differs from mine, you’ll probably get a lot more out of it.  It’s certainly not the worst thing on the list, though.  If you are binging his films to watch him look good, this should satisfy that need.  He’s very pretty.

In Secret (2013)

Prime Video
Warnings: Infidelity , Suicide.
Role: Supporting Character – Laurent LeClaire
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes, by suicide.

Oscar Isaac plays a secret lover to Elizabeth Olsen’s character in this romantic drama.  I love both of these actors, but the characters were obnoxious.  Watch it if you must, but I did not enjoy it.

Won’t Back Down (2012)

Amazon Prime Video
Role: Supporting Character – Michael Perry
Warnings: None
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No he doesn’t.

He plays a fun ukulele-playing teacher in this one.  Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the mother of a child with dyslexia.  She and another parent decide to start up their own school that would have a better focus on their children than the current school in the district offers. 

Overall I enjoyed the film, but there are moments that come off incredibly anti-union, so sometimes I did raise an eyebrow at it.  I can see why Gyllenhaal’s character would be against it, though, as it’s protecting teachers that are failing her daughter.  Still, it’s worth taking note of before you dive in. 

The Bourne Legacy (2012)

Netflix
Warnings: Violence
Role: Minor Character – Outcome No. 3
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes. He gets blown up just 30 minutes into this two and a half hour film.

He has a fairly small part in this.  His screen time is probably less than ten minutes total.  As someone who hasn’t seen any of the other Bourne films, I was confused as hell for most of it.  I’d only watch this if you’re going down his checklist of films, like I’m doing here, or if you’re already a Bourne fan.  Otherwise, the brevity of his character and confusing Bourne franchise details make this a difficult watch.

Drive (2011)

Prime Video
Warnings: Violence
Role: Minor Character – Standard Gabriel
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes. He gets shot to death fairly early in the film.

Oscar Isaac isn’t in this one much, but if you dig cars and crime, maybe you’ll dig it.  He plays the husband of the main character’s neighbor.  He’s just been released from prison and immediately jumps back into criminal shenanigans.  His plot ends there.

The Life Before Her Eyes (2007)

HBO Max
Warnings: School Shooting, Abortion
Role: Minor Role – Marcus
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Nope, but it was dicey there for a minute.

Oscar Isaac’s role in this one is fairly small.  The story focuses on a character played Evan Rachel Wood as a teenager, and Uma Thurman as an adult (presumably, but the ending is a little confusing).  The character, Diana, was involved in a school shooting in high school.  Oscar Isaac plays a lover of hers when she’s a teen. He’s kind of a terrible person and he’s an adult while she’s only 17 years old.  His character also gets her pregnant and he’s a less than an ideal partner when she’s recovering from an abortion.

It’s hard for me to judge if this film is any good or not because it really feels like my entire country is traumatized by school shootings at this point.  As I’m writing this article fairly recently after the Uvalde massacre, it was an incredibly difficult watch.  I started watching it literally the day after the massacre happened and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t effect how I absorbed this film.

If I didn’t have this cultural PTSD hanging over my head, I may be able to judge the film on its merit alone.  When getting some distance of it, I think it’s actually pretty good.  But, frankly, I’m exhausted by school shootings in reality and in fiction.  Watch it if you can tolerate the subject matter.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent 6×18: The Healer (2006)

Peacock TV
Warnings: Cults, Murder, Drugs
Role: Secondary Character – Robbie Paulson
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Nope, he doesn’t.

Oscar Isaac plays a well-meaning, but terribly misguided healthcare worker who has been pulled into a cult.  His character is incredibly sympathetic, and you really feel bad for him by the end of it all.  He really had a chance to stretch his acting skill early on in his career with this one.  Most of his pre-2010 work is pretty minor and inconsequential (with a couple small exceptions), but not this one.  This one is fairly deep for a serialized TV drama.  It’s worth an hour of your time.

The Biopics

Oscar Isaac gets cast in a lot of biopic-style projects.  Sometimes he plays the role of a real person, and sometimes he’s simply a fictional supporting character. These films also range from being highly accurate, like Show Me a Hero, to largely fictionalized or remixed accounts of the real story.  But whatever the case, any of his projects that are based on true stories and aren’t on my favorite’s list or under the war or crime sections will be placed here.

At Eternity’s Gate (2018)

Netflix
Role: Supporting Character – Paul Gauguin
Warning: Self Harm
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No, but he makes Vincent Van Gogh super sad.

If you’re tackling anything with Vincent Van Gogh, you know it’s going to be super sad.  Brace yourself accordingly.

Oscar Isaac plays Paul Gauguin, an artist who was close with Van Gogh.  His departure from Van Gogh’s life is what sparked the infamous ear-cutting incident, so he’s a fairly pivotal person in the protagonist’s life.  This is primarily a Willem Dafoe film, though.  It’s a good one as far as biopics go.  It won numerous awards at the Venice Film Festival in 2018 and a Saturn Award in 2019.

Operation Finale (2018)

Netflix
Warnings: Holocaust Imagery, Murder
Role: Main Character – Peter Malkin
Does Oscar Isaac Die? :
Nope, he doesn’t. There’s a close call, though.

Oscar Isaac plays a Mossad agent who is tasked with locating Nazi war criminals.  His character typically assassinates these subjects, but he gets assigned to a mission where he has to bring in one of the biggest architects of the Holocaust back to Israel to stand trial.  Extracting the subject from Argentina is an incredibly challenging task, and tensions throughout the film are very high.

It’s a pretty good drama.  Be prepared for unflinching Holocaust imagery, though.  These are definitely things people should see, but if you aren’t prepared it could trigger some.  If this is a topic that triggers you, perhaps you should avoid it.  But if this is a topic that you feel you must see, then you should definitely watch it.

Show Me a Hero (2015)

HBO Max
Warnings: Suicide, Racism, Racist Slurs
Role: Main Character – Nick Wasicsko
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Sadly yes.

Oscar Isaac won a Golden Globe for playing this role.  It follows the real life of Yonkers mayor Nick Wasicsko as he ends up becoming the face of public housing integration.  It’s not bad, per se, but there’s a few challenges when watching it.  Again, he won an award for it so it’s very clearly well made.  Much of it involves people yelling in a city council meeting, though, so prepare yourself for a bit of a migraine on a fairly regular basis.  I watched the entire thing in a day and my head was killing me at the end.

By the end of it, you’ll find yourself knowing way more about public housing politics than you did before, and you’ll find yourself sort of resenting the residents of Yonkers. While this subject matter isn’t exactly riveting, it’s pretty damn important to understand.  Sometimes the important stuff is tedious.  

Also, he’s sporting a rather intense mustache, which, as Steven Grant would put it, is sort of “Ned Flanders.”  Not my favorite Oscar Isaac facial hair option, but definitely a notable one for the collection.

W.E. (2011)

HBO Max
Role: Secondary Role (Main Character’s Love Interest)
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Nope

It sure seems like Oscar Isaac played a lot of ‘the other man’ earlier in his career.  In this case, he plays the attractive (of course) security guard at Sotheby’s that gives the protagonist more attention than her wealthy workaholic husband does.  He’s got an interesting accent in this one, and an unfortunately short hair cut (let his curly hair free, guys!).  

The story follows a woman named after Wallis Simpson, the socialite who fell in love with the next in line for the British throne.  History buffs will recognize this story as what led to the abdication of the throne by King Edward VIII.  This is a story that has fascinated me for a long time and this film explores it through the modern day Wally as she researches her namesake.

Critics seemed to hate this film, but I didn’t find it that terrible.  But maybe I’m a bit biased since this is a subject matter I’ve been reading about for years already.  If you don’t find the story of Wallis Simpson and King Edward as fascinating as I do, this may fall a bit flat.  But hey, despite the short hair cut and unusual accent, Oscar Isaac looks good so that’s nice.

Agora (2009)

Warnings: Graphic Murder, Partial Nudity
Role: Supporting Character – Orestes
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : He ‘disappears.’ So we don’t see a death on screen and are unclear if he simply ran away or died.

This film seems to have mixed reviews, but it has Oscar Isaac and Rachel Weisz being beautiful and smart and science-y.  I have zero complaints.  None.  Sometimes you just need a film with pretty people doing neat things, and this film delivers that.  Also, Oscar Isaac’s hair is incredibly curly here, so if you dig that, you will super dig this.

The story follows Hypatia of Alexandria along with her students as religion and science clash.  The growing Christian religion causes unrest in Alexandria and tensions among her students.  The brotherhood among them, however, leads to an interesting and delicate alliance among that is continually tested as society slowly gets taken over by the new religion. 

If the sacking of the library of Alexandria makes you cry, you should probably maybe avoid this film.  I feel you, bibliophiles.  It hurts to watch.

Che (2008)

Amazon Prime Video
Warnings: Graphic Violence
Role: Supporting Character
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : I don’t think so, but this film was a drag and I may have blinked and miss it.

This film is in two parts and is over four hours in total.  Oscar Isaac plays a UN translator, and essentially acts as a Narrator for the first part of the film.  As the title implies, this is about Che Guevara, and it’s far longer than it really needs to be.  Scenes drag on far too long and unnecessary details, like extremely long looks at maps of Cuba, are scattered throughout.  Things could have been trimmed and knocked a good 20 minutes off part one at the very least.

The Nativity Story (2006)

Amazon Prime Video
Warnings: Typical Biblical Violence
Role: Supporting Character – Joseph
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : I mean, eventually yes, but not in this story.

Oscar Isaac plays Joseph, Jesus’ step dad.  It’s, you know, a Bible story.  Not my jam, but if you’re into that sort of thing it’s probably fairly good.

The Obligatory Oscar Isaac Crime & War Movies

It seems like every pretty Hollywood actor ends up having to do their share of war films and crime films.  I had to suffer through it for Tom Hardy and I had to suffer through it here. Thankfully, both these men are worth suffering through these films for, so it wasn’t a total waste of time for me.

As I’m not a fan of either genre, it’s hard for me to judge them fairly.  The only fair way to categorize these films here is by putting them on a list together.  Whether they are any good or not should probably be left up to people who enjoy these genres to decide.  That person is not me.

Triple Frontier (2019)

Netflix
Warnings: Graphic Violence
Role: Main Character, Ensemble Cast
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Nope

This is a violent action-adventure film and Oscar Isaac plays a military consultant working on organized crime cases in Colombia.  As usual, however, he has an ability to create fascinating characters even in the most lackluster of stories.  And honestly, the story is a bit lackluster.

There’s parts of this character that I can see bleeding over into Marc Spector from Moon Knight.  He’s sort of an emotionally-detached mercenary who isn’t super keen on killing people, but accepts it as an occasionally required part of his job.  Also, Oscar Isaac speaks a lot of Spanish in this one.  I love watching bilingual and polyglot actors get to speak in languages other than English.  It was a big favorite of mine when I was watching Mads Mikkelsen films, too.  So there were some enjoyable parts for me here.

Another personal highlight with this one for me is that it filmed where I live on Oahu, so, like when I watched Lost, I was constantly seeing places I recognize.  Unless you also live here, this might not be a huge deal for you.  But it’s always fun seeing a celebrity you love in your own backyard, so it certainly added to my enjoyment of it.

Special Bonus: Pedro Pascal!  He and Oscar Isaac are pretty good friends, so it’s nice to see them together in a film.

Body of Lies (2008)

Netflix
Warnings: Racist Stereotypes
Role: Supporting Character
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes, and fairly early

Gotta be honest, I did not dig this one.  But I am a completionist so I watched the whole damn thing.  You’re welcome.

Oscar Isaac is only in a few scenes and the role isn’t exactly compelling.  This is Oscar Isaac though, so he’s still pleasing to watch at least.  The upside of this role is that he’s got a cute ponytail.  Whenever his look gets mixed up a bit, I’m intrigued.  My interest in the film pretty much ends there though.  The rest of the movie is your standard 2000s Middle East war drama with some rather uncomfortable stereotypes.  That’s on par for American films from the 2000s.

Bonus: Leonardo DiCaprio.  If you combine the Tom Hardy and Oscar Isaac binge watches, you basically get a partial Leo marathon, too.

Suburbicon (2017)

Warnings: Murder, Racism
Role: Main Character
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes, He drinks lye.

Suburbicon looks at, as the title implies, a suburb and the people that live in it.  One family is attempting insurance fraud while a Black family moves in next door.  The two stories unfold parallel to one another, breaking open the idyllic suburban life and shows the violence that runs just below the surface.

Mojave (2015)

Hulu
Warnings: Murder
Role: Main Character
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes, and I was weirdly sad about it. This is another ‘shot in the chest’ death.

This is an interesting one.  He’s got an incredibly different voice here and I genuinely forgot it was him for most of the film.  He plays a drifter who witnesses a man kill someone out in the desert.  The drifter then tracks down the guy and they sort of antagonize each other for, like, the entire film.  I wasn’t exactly a fan of the plot of the film, but it was an incredibly interesting performance.  

This is another one that is probably a good film, but I can’t judge it properly since I’m just not a fan of the genre.

A Most Violent Year (2014)

Warnings: Violence, Suicide
Role: Main Character
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No, he doesn’t, but his life is ruined. 

Yes, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain have played husband and wife twice. No wonder they are so close!

There’s no other way to describe him in this film other than DILF.  He sports some moderately silver fox hair as he plays a wealthy Chicago business man who finds himself tangled up in a lot of crime.  It’s not particularly riveting crime, but he’s very pretty to look at so it’s not a total waste of time.  I do tend to prefer Oscar Isaac when he’s a bit rough around the edge and not when he’s all fancy and cleaned up, but it’s still good.

For Greater Glory (2012)

Amazon Prime Video
Role: Supporting Character
Warnings: Violence, Mexican Stereotypes
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes he does.

This was the last Oscar Isaac movie I watched, and I watched it on the plane to SDCC just last month.  That’s why there’s such a long delay between part one and part two of this series, actually.  But hey, I’m finally finishing it up!

This story really wasn’t for me at all.  It’s very much a western with all the trappings, and I was bored to death the entire time.  But if you like that genre, give it a go.

All About the Benjamins (2002)

Warnings: Violence, Crime, Murder
Role: Minor Character
Does Oscar Isaac Die?: Yes. I think this is the first role where his character gets brutally murdered by being shot in the chest. It happens, like, five more times throughout his career. STOP SHOOTING OSCAR ISAAC IN THE CHEST.

He’s in this film for less than five minutes, and his scenes are done by the 19-minute mark of the film.  This is one you should only watch if you’re a completionist.  Otherwise, it’s not worth the time.

Illtown (1998)

Warnings: Drugs, Murder
Role: Essentially an Extra
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : He wasn’t nearly important enough to die. 

Got to be honest here, this film is pretty bad.  Oscar Isaac is, as far as I can tell, only in three scenes.  And he’s only sort of recognizable in one of them.  He plays a half-dressed pool boy.  I am not even joking.  His first acting credit ever is ‘pool boy.’

This incredibly incomprehensible and low-budget film seems to be about a bunch of drug dealers doing crime stuff.  Oscar Isaac is in the far background washing a car in one scene, out-of-focus lounging around in the background in another scene, and then kind of dazed and mostly naked in his one singular clear face shot.

Unless you are a completionist, perhaps you should skip this one.  I suffered through it so you don’t have to.  You’re welcome.

Check Out Part One

Author: Angel Wilson

Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.


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