Every Oscar Isaac Film – Part One: Geek Stuff and Comedies

Oscar Isaac Films and Shows Part One

I’ve adored Oscar Isaac for many years.  Poe Dameron has been my favorite character since he first sassed Kylo Ren and I’ve been devoted ever since.  But Moon Knight has shot my adoration of the actor into to new levels.

I have a habit of binge watching everything I can get my hands on when I get obsessed with an actor.  I did it with Tom Hardy and I did it with Mads Mikkelsen (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6).  And now, I guess, I’m doing it with Oscar Isaac.  Truly, it’s a shame I hadn’t seen more of his work before doing this list, considering how much I adore the man.  But I worked hard to catch up the best I could with this.  It was a fun experience.

Oscar Isaac’s talent is immense and going through his body of work has been well worth the time and effort.  His roles range from the serious to the humorous, the bold to the passive.  Many of them carry loads of snark with them, and a sizable chunk of them tend to, unfortunately, die.  But whatever role he’s playing, it’s always a delight to watch him on screen.  His talent can’t be denied.  And hey, he’s pretty damn gorgeous, too.

How To Use This List

This is the first of two lists of Oscar Isaac films and shows.  I’ve chosen to place all the geek stuff – which includes superheroes, science fiction, and fantasy horror – on this list.  The geek stuff will be divided between my favorites, the intense science fiction, and ‘others.’  This part of the list will also include his comedies.  Stay tuned for the next article for the more serious stuff.

Warnings

I will warn for potentially triggering things, like 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.  I’ve tried to cover the major things, though.  

Does Oscar Isaac Die?

Finally, I will tell you if Oscar Isaac’s character dies.  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. (Editor’s Note: I recommend doesthedogdie.com to check for potential triggers! It has a pretty comprehensive list of categories.)

So without much further ado, let’s get down to business.

My Favorite Geeky Oscar Isaac Stuff

I am, at my core, a geek.  So it shouldn’t be surprised that I’m leading off the list with my favorite geeky things.  We’ve got a superhero show and some science fiction movies and it’s all absolutely delightful.  If you’re here for his geek stuff, don’t miss any of these titles.

There are a few geeky projects that I’m not including in this section because I just didn’t vibe with them personally.  The ones in this first part are ones I definitely recommend, whereas the others will be in the next section.  If a favorite geeky film of yours isn’t in this section, scroll down to the section “Other Franchise & Genre Media” and it’s probably there.  The categorization is purely based on personal taste!

Moon Knight (2022)

Disney+
Warnings: Child Abuse, Graphic Violence, Murder
Role: Main Character – Marc Spector, Steven Grant, Jake Lockley, Khonshu (briefly)
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Temporarily

This Disney+ show is my current hyperfixation.  It’s the reason I’ve decided to seriously go through his films and shows like this. He masterfully plays three characters, which are alters for a man with Dissociative Identity Disorder.  Each of them is incredibly unique and his acting talent in regards to distinguishing them is really remarkable.   You can look at a still image of the character and tell who it is just by how he holds himself. 

It’ll be a crime if Marvel Studios doesn’t bring him back for more.  This is a stunning set of characters.  As of this writing, there are no announced plans for him to return.

Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant, Marc Spector, and Jake Lockley

I’ve wanted Oscar Isaac to enter the MCU for a while, but wasn’t quite sure I’d dig this project.  I’d never heard of Moon Knight before and was a little worried about it.  My fears mainly involved potentially offensive representations of mental illness and Egyptian culture.  Thankfully, the series handled both topics with sensitivity.  Oscar Isaac himself did a lot of research on Dissociative Identity Disorder, having apparently read A Fractured Mind.  The production also involved many Egyptian creators both in front of and behind the camera.  I’m very happy with the care they took with it.

Of all the projects on this list, this one is my favorite.  Don’t miss it.  Even if you aren’t into MCU stuff. You don’t need to understand the MCU to like this.

Star Wars Trilogy (2015, 2017, 2019)

Disney+
Warnings: Epilepsy Triggers/Flashing Lights in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Typical Star Wars Film Violence & Murder
Role: Main Character – Poe Dameron
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Nope

star wars finn poe John BoyegaPoe Dameron has been my favorite Oscar Isaac character since 2015.  It wasn’t until Steven Grant rolled onto the scene that this character was finally dethroned.  Even so, he’s a very close second and my search for Poe merchandise continues to be an endless stream of frustration seven years after he captured my heart.  There simply isn’t enough Poe merchandise, whether official or fan made.  But I’ll never stop looking.

His best appearance in the trilogy was in The Force Awakens.  I fell in love with Poe the moment he sassed Kylo Ren and I’ve been ride-or-die for him since then.  His chemistry with John Boyega was amazing and he seemed to enjoy leaning into that whenever he could. Oscar Isaac seemed to enjoy Star Wars fandom, too, and watching his interviews during this period were incredibly fun. 

I suppose I’m drawn to Oscar Isaac’s sassy characters.  Poe is snappy and sarcastic, as is Steven Grant.  He just does it so well.

Poe Dameron (and thus, Oscar Isaac) also appears in Star Wars Resistance (2018-2019 series), and the Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Disney Infinity 3.0 video games.

Dune (2021)

HBO Max
Role: Supporting Character – Duke Leto Atreides
Warnings: Graphic Violence, Murder, Partial Nudity (Oscar Isaac)
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes he does.

Oscar Isaac was the reason I saw Dune in theaters. I’m not even a little bit ashamed about it.  For many, seeing a film because of one actor – especially one as iconic as Dune – is basically a sin.  But whatever.  Send me to hell, I guess, because I bought that ticket for him.  And it was worth it.

He looks fantastic in this film.  There’s a pretty major downside to this, though.  And this downside is a massive spoiler for Dune so turn back now if you haven’t seen it or read it.  SPOILERHis character dies.  He dies very prettily though. But it sucks. As a result of this, I probably won’t see the second film. Because remember, I saw this for Oscar Isaac, and not for Dune.

Despite not being a huge Dune person, I’m putting this film on my favorites list.  There’s no doubt its production value is high, the talent is immense, and it’s sure to become a classic. It’s just not a classic I’m particularly enthused about.  But damn, Oscar Isaac looks GOOD.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Netflix
Role: Minor (Post Credits Only) – Miguel O’Hara/ Spider-Man
Warnings: None.
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Nope. Not around long enough to die.

Spider-Man Oscar IsaacThis film has been praised as one of the best Marvel projects to come from Sony.  While Oscar Isaac’s role in it is brief, it’s still worth a watch for any and all geeks.  I’m not even a Spider-Man fan (sorry!) and I enjoyed it.

It’s a multiversal adventure and Oscar Isaac plays one of the many many Spider-Men (and women) who make an appearance here.  He’s not in the bulk of the film, though.  It’s more a happy treat at the end.

That said, multiverse stuff is always fun to play with.  You can legitimately have three different Oscar Isaac characters meeting from various Marvel Universes while the Multiverse is broken – Miguel O’Hara, Moon Knight, and Apocalypse. 

Of course, I truly believe that last one is something many prefer to forget, but it’s there anyway,  Just, you know, down in the other section that isn’t my “favorites.”  But oh yes, I’ve watched that one too.

The Addams Family (2019, 2021)

Hulu
Role: Main Character – Gomez Addams
Warnings: None.
Does Oscar Isaac Die ? : Nope, but death would be pleasant to this creepy family,

I didn’t think I’d like this because the the animation just wasn’t appealing to me.  But oh boy, I was WRONG.  And if you haven’t watched it for similar reasons, I urge you to correct your mistake.  These films are fantastic!

Oscar Isaac’s Gomez is spectacular.  It sounds like he had a lot of fun putting the most ridiculous inflections into his lines.  Him saying “goo goo ga ga baby sword” is stuck in my head for all eternity.  I truly wish he had more opportunities to be this ridiculous, because he seems to absolute revel in it.  The only down side to this is not being able to see his face when he does all of this, because I’m sure his expressions are just as free in their ridiculousness as his voice is.

Also, let’s be real, Gomez Addams is the ultimate Male Wife. And, I say this with the utmost respect, but Oscar Isaac bleeds Male Wife Energy. 

It’s a perfect match.  Don’t miss these films.  And yes, there are two of them!

The Intense Science Fiction Oscar Isaac Films

In addition to the superhero and science fiction franchise pieces, Oscar Isaac has been in several intense science fiction thrillers.  These are standalone films that straddle the line between drama and sci-fi.  

Annihilation (2018)

Paramount+
Warnings: Body Horror
Role: Supporting Character – Main Character’s Husband, Kane
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Yes, sort of. It’s confusing? 

Oscar Isaac Annihilation Oscar Isaac plays Natalie Portman’s husband.  That’s right.  Moon Knight is married to Jane Foster.  Love that for us!  Valkyrie is also around.  It’s a real MCU Party here.

This movie is intense and left me feeling kind of disturbed. But it’s a psychological horror film in sci-fi dressing so that’s to be expected.  Still, that last scene left me shook, so maybe just be sure you go into this in a good headspace.  His character was a soldier who went into a mysterious ‘shimmer’ to investigate its origins.  He shows up at his home a year later, confused and horribly ill.  He spends most of the rest of the film hooked up to a ventilator as Natalie Portman’s character works to solve the mystery. 

He is… creepy in this.  But I don’t think his character is malicious in any way.  He’s just incredibly confused and unintentionally (for the character) disturbing. 

Ex Machina (2015)

Amazon Prime Video
Trigger Warnings: Graphic Self-Harm, Derogatory Treatment of (Robot) Women, Graphic Violence, Murder
Role: Main Character – Nathan Bateman
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Thankfully  yes

Oh boy.  This one is a lot

Oscar Isaac plays a selfish tech bro who is working on creating artificial intelligence.  There’s a rather strong element of Black Mirrorstyle humanity vs technology horror in this one.  As a fan of Black Mirror, I very much vibe with this genre.  If watching the folly of man in the face of technology gets you going, this one is for you!

The film is well done, but Oscar Isaac’s role isn’t a particular deep one.  It didn’t really have to be deep since it’s fulfilling a specific antagonistic function, but I was still surprisingly not drawn to him like I usually am.  I felt like the role could have been played by anyone to similar effect.  This isn’t a story that relies on the characters and their hidden depths, though.  This is a story very much centered around a specific moralistic question and the plot delivers that effectively.  If you’re looking for an interesting and fleshed out character, however, this isn’t it.

Other Oscar Isaac Works in Franchise & Genre Media

This section consists of other genre media or franchise pieces that just didn’t earn their spot on my favorites list.  These aren’t bad.  Mostly.  But if someone asks for a recommendation, these aren’t the ones I’d choose.  That said, plenty of geeks love them, so it’s worth a watch if you’re into this stuff.

 

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Disney+
Role: Main Antagonist – Apocalypse
Warnings: Typical Comic Book Film Violence
Does Oscar Isaac Die? :As much as a creepy and powerful super villain can die, yes. But are they ever TRULY dead?

Ugh, THIS one.  Why you would bury such a talented actor under tons of prosthetics that hinder his movement, and then synthesize his voice to further wash him out, is truly beyond comprehension.  At least when Tom Hardy’s face was hidden in so many of his roles, he could act with his eyes.  But the prosthetics here are such a hindrance that Oscar Isaac can barely even do that.

Oscar Isaac puts effort into it, but it clearly wasn’t at all easy.  I’m grateful that he was give a second and third chance to be a Marvel character.  Each of those gave him far more freedom to actually act.  And yes, even though he was only an end-credit scene cameo in the animated Spider-Man film, it was still more of an opportunity to act than this film was for him.

Sucker Punch (2011)

Hulu
Role: Antagonist – Blue Jones
Warnings: Abuse, Sexual Violence, Misogyny 
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Thankfully yes. He’s terrible.

This film got terrible reviews.  Most of them have the same criticisms.  Sucker Punch is technically well done.  It’s visually beautiful and has great music, but the plot and characters are very hollow.  Even Oscar Isaac’s character is very flat, which is just such a massive waste of his talent.  His character is an antagonist and is abusive towards vulnerable women.  Add that onto how shallow the character is written, and it’s not an enjoyable performance to watch.

The film is pretty to look at, though, so it’s not a total waste.  You just have to go into it with the right expectation in mind and you won’t be terribly disappointed.  If you set your expectations higher than “visually pretty action movie” or if you expect Oscar Isaac’s character to be at all enjoyable, you’ll be left feeling a bit empty.  Take it for what it is.

Robin Hood (2010)

Prime Video
Role: Antagonist – John, King of England
Warnings: Violence, Murder, Infidelity, Partial Nudity (Oscar Isaac)
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Not in this story, no.

Oscar Isaac, the ever malleable actor that he is, somehow manages to play an incredibly English character – the bloody King of England.  He’s not a kind character here (obviously), but it’s still worth a watch.  I didn’t enjoy it enough to put it on my favorites list, but it’s not a bad film.  I honestly just don’t vibe too well with Russell Crow, and since he’s the protagonist, it was a bit of a struggle to get through.

Oscar Isaac’s talent at embodying that uncomfortable playboy persona is truly impressive, because King John is really an asshole and he sells it so damn well.  He’s also incredibly young here, and he has a partial nude scene that really, uh, shows off his youthfulness.  I suppose if you’re looking at something specifically like that, perhaps bump this one up your list a bit.

The Oscar Isaac Comedies

Oscar Isaac has incredible comedic timing.  It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t get to stretch that muscle much.  These films, however, are meant to be comedies and provide a platform for him to show that side of his acting prowess to some degree.  Some are better at it than others, of course.  And some straddle the comedy line in a rather messy way, so they aren’t all completely funny from beginning to end. 

I only hope he has more of an opportunity to be funny in the future, because his current comedic offerings are lacking, but he’s incredibly funny.

Big Gold Brick (2022)

Hulu
Role: Minor Character – Anselm Vogelweide
Warnings: Violence
Does Oscar Isaac Die? :The movie was so bad I kind of zoned out, but I don’t think so.

Oscar Isaac is in this film for less than ten minutes, and it’s all near the end.  I feel bad saying this because he’s also an Executive Producer here, but the film is pretty terrible and his character is pretty lackluster. I hope to God he never finds this list because I realize that opinion is pretty damn insulting to him and I adore the man, but this film just wasn’t it.

If you’re looking for a good film, this isn’t for you.  If you’re just looking for a film with Oscar Isaac looks good, this film also isn’t for you.  It’s only for the diehards who have an inexplicable urge to watch literally everything he’s in. Like me.  If you aren’t willing to subject yourself to awful stuff to complete your watch list, look elsewhere.

This is another “I watched it so you don’t have to” situation.  You’re welcome.

Ticky Tacky (2014)

YouTube
Role: Main Character – Lucien
Warnings: Murder, Violence
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Not on screen, but it’s sort of implied.

This film covers three very bad days for one particular man, which culminates in a scene that feels lifted right out of Reservoir Dogs.  It’s a fairly short film and worth your time, even if his performance is particularly unhinged.  In fact, the unhinged nature of this film is one of the highlights.  The entire thing takes place in a single office and relies entirely on acting to convey the story. 

He really has a chance to stretch his talents here.  Of all the comedy roles he’s been given (outside the geek stuff, which also leans into comedy more often than not), this is my favorite role for him.  It’s bizarre and funny and he charges into it head first.

Revenge for Jolly! (2012)

Prime Video
Role: Main Character – Cecil
Warnings: Dog Corpse, Graphic Murder, Mass Shooting (Oscar Isaac is one of the perpetrators)
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : Surprisingly no.

Revenge for Jolly! is like John Wick fanfiction if the fanfic writer took a huge bong rip and slammed back a few shots of vodka before they began writing it.  The main character’s dog, Jolly, is murdered.  The protagonist and Oscar Isaac’s character then go on a bloody and violent revenge mission to find the person that killed Jolly.  Lots of people die as a result.

Oscar Isaac is funny as hell, but I just couldn’t get over seeing a dead dog right at the beginning of the film.  It sort of put a dark cloud over it all because it absolutely wasn’t funny.  Some of the humor tries to be ‘edgy,’ too, which is uncomfortable.  Are we really supposed to be laughing during a mass shooting?  This film was written in 2012, so mass shootings were a thing then, too. Granted, they’ve gotten worse in recent years, but I just couldn’t find any humor during the sequence.

Oscar Isaac’s excellent comedic timing saves the film from being a total waste of time, though.  If you can get past the dead dog and offensive humor, it’s an entertaining little comedic romp.  You’ve really got to be determined to push past the flaws, though.

10 Years (2011)

Hulu
Role: Ensemble Cast – Reeves
Warnings: Drug Use
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No. It’s a romcom.

This story is about a 10 year reunion.  It has an all-star cast – even though most of them weren’t huge at the time – like Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Anthony Mackie, Rosario Dawson, and many more. Some of them were more famous than others, but many were just starting to gain traction at the time and are much more well known now. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I don’t vibe with heterosexual romantic stories. And this is a Romcom. But Oscar Isaac has a chance to sing and play guitar, so it’s worth going through it for that alone. His voice is fantastic. 

Lenny the Wonder Dog (2004)

Prime Video
Role: Minor Character – Fartman (Yes, for real, his character is named ‘Fartman’)
Warnings: None.
Does Oscar Isaac Die? : No, but he’s not too thrilled with life.

This film is awful, dude.  Save yourself some time and just watch the clips from it on YouTube.  It’s about two minutes long.  “Enjoy.”

The second part of this list will be published shortly and linked here once it’s up.  Stay tuned.

 

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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