Unforgettable Performances by Andrew Garfield

7 minute read

From mainstream marvel movies like Spiderman to the extremely critically acclaimed ones like Hacksaw Ridge, Andrew Garfield has truly proved his acting prowess through his versatile roles and charming presence on the screen! Here, we bring you the top 10 performances by Andrew Garfield that are a must to watch for movie buffs!.

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

“While everybody else is taking life, I’m going to be saving it. With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing to me to wanna put a little bit of it back together.”

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) - IMDb
Source: IMDb

This is by far the most appreciated performance of Andrew Garfield among film critics. Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war film based on the novel ‘The Conscientious Objector’ by Terry Benedict where Garfield plays the role of Desmond Doss. He is a pacifist soldier who acts as a doctor during the Battle of Okinawa during World War 2. This story portrays the true life of the first man to ever win the Medal of Honor without shooting a single gunshot. Garfield beautifully portrays the man’s dedication to saving lives and commitment to being non-violent. The entire movie is brilliantly directed with some unique scenes. One such awestruck scene is where the soldiers climb up the Ridge when they realise that the rope ladders are soaked with blood. 

Hacksaw Ridge was chosen by the American Film Institute as one of its top ten Movies of the Year. The movie received six Oscar nominations and several Golden Globe nominations including Best Actor for Garfield. Andrew Garfield also won AACTA Award for Best Actor.

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The Social Network (2010)

The Social Network | film by Fincher [2010] | Britannica
Source: Britannica

Garfield’s big break and mass popularity came with his supporting role in the 2010 film, The Social Network. The film is based on ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich and narrates the well-known story of the birth of the social media website Facebook and the subsequent lawsuits faced by the company. Garfield plays Harvard student Eduardo Saverin, a seed investor for the company, created by his friend, Mark Zuckerberg portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg.

Garfield even with his limited screen time makes the most use of it. His role of a  passionate and troubled man comes alive on the screen. He earned both Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations as Best Supporting Actor. The film also received 8 Oscar nominations, winning many. The performance showed the variation in roles Garfield could offer, and compliments his risky choices even at the beginning of his career. 

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Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 (2009)

Overlooked & Underseen: Red Riding: 1974 (2009) — Talk Film Society
Source: Talk Film Society

Not necessarily a movie, but a three-part television film series, Red Riding Trilogy is an underrated but equally impactful and mesmerising watch for any movie lover. The movie showed the journey of a  rookie Yorkshire journalist who sets out to solve the case of a child murderer. Andrew Garfield played Eddie Dunford, this young, cocky and naïve Yorkshire Post reporter, Dunford. His enactment of a man with a force of moral righteousness in a flawed and misdirected shell was absolutely precise. Garfield’s role in the 1974 opening chapter was definitely a smashing hit that left a lasting impression on the viewers.  

99 Homes (2014)

99 Homes (2014) - IMDb
Source: IMDb

This 2014 drama is set during the Great Recession and follows a single father, Dennis Nash played by Garfield and his family as they are evicted from their home by businessman Rick Carver, played by Michael Shannon. Ultimately, Nash chooses to help Carver in evicting people out of their homes in exchange for his family’s home pushing into a rabbit hole of corruption and deceit.

The reason why Andrew wins our hearts with this character is the way he conveyed his desperation to survive in a failing climate. Despite committing awful criminal and moral activities, we could still see his intentions, and justify his decisions. Garfield did understand and well showed the depth and layers of his character from a struggling father to a caretaker to his mother, making this performance a stellar we can never forget. 

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The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)


Despite numerous hits, Andrew Garfield’s claim to fame remains the 2012 American superhero film, The Amazing Spider-Man. Following the culmination of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man series by only five years, there was an added pressure and attention by fans, to up the game by Andrew Garfield’s performance. Undoubtedly, Garfield left everyone in awe! Not only the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone made fans crave their relationship more, but also critics felt that Garfield brought a darker, more troubled tone to the character of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man.  

Silence (2016)

 I pray but I am lost. Am I just praying to silence?

Silence (2016)
Source: IMDb

Garfield worked with Martin Scorsese in an adaptation of Silence as Father Sebastião Rodrigues, a Portuguese priest who ventures to Edo era Japan to seek out fellow priest Cristóvão Ferreira. The film is based on the novel “Silence” by Shūsaku Endō set during the Shimabara Rebellion that sees Christianity outlawed and anyone who refuses to denounce Christ tortured or killed.

Through the 3 hour epic, we see Andrew’s character’s faith is tried and tested seeing the fate of a suppressed community in Japan. The film is deeply layered with rewardingly textured performances. Garfield portrayal the torture his character is forced to endure and the psychological state he experienced with utmost precision. In the manner in which we get to see the priest’s inner turmoil, his reluctance in accepting the reality, we can not deny that Garfield was the absolute fit for the role. 

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Never Let Me Go (2010)

Youtube: Search Light Pictures

This 2010 British dystopian romantic tragedy film made the transition for Andrew from the American to the British film industry. The movie is based on the book “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. The science-fiction work by Nobel prize winner Kazao Ishiguro showed the story of a group of young students who discover they are being groomed to be organ donors for other people and will only live a short time. It follows the three protagonists Kathy H (Carey Mulligan), Ruth C (Keira Knightley) and Tommy D (Garfield). The movie captures their journey from their innocent childhood to adults, and their budding relationships to the deterioration of their friendships and, finally, their lives as they are forced to donate their organs and start dying in the process. 

Garfield as Tommy D successfully showed the character arc from a young angry boy to a more restrained adult and his romantic relationship with Kathy. The way his expression of love, through years of accumulated art is portrayed by the actor makes all of us fall for him. Especially, the climactic scene in which he breaks down makes it surreal and more so heartbreaking to watch.  

Breathe (2017)

 Let me ask you, when you look at me, what is it that you see? Do you see a creature that’s barely alive? Or do you see a man that’s escaped the confines of the hospital wards? Now, I have a machine under this very seat, and it breathes for me. And at home, I have a ventilator by my bed. I also have a remarkable group of friends. And most vitally I have my wife.

Breathe' Review: Andrew Garfield Gives a Heartwarming Performance |  IndieWire
Source: Indiewire

Another unique performance by Andrew Garfield, Breathe is a 2017 movie based on a true story and written by William Nicholson. Garfield plays the role of Robin Cavendish who falls ill from polio at age 28, soon after marrying his wife Diana in the 2017 biographical drama film, Breathe. The movie shows the story of this man who defied medical experts who speculated his time left to be just three months, by becoming one of the longest-living polio survivors in Great Britain. The strong performance of Garfield in this disability drama, showing his suffering, relationships and hope, makes this movie a must-watch. 

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Boy A (2007)

Youtube: Movie Predictor

Very few actors can make their debut films memorable and Andrew Garfield is definitely one such actor. His big-screen debut was this movie “Boy A” based on the novel by Jonathan Trigell which is a meditative approach to a sinister topic. Garfield portrays Eric Wilson, a young man who has just completed a prison sentence for a violent crime he committed as an adolescent. The story follows the character as he tries to shed his identity and re-enter society. Garfield completely inhabited this character and turned out an unnervingly real performance. At such a young age, Andrew Garfield’s capability to emit inner innocence despite his surroundings and even his actions undoubtedly caught the eyes of filmmakers and gave him the amazing projects which he later participated in. 

Under The Silver Lake (2018)

Andrew Garfield Stars in New Clip From Under The Silver Lake
Source: Vulture

This 2018 American Neo-Noir black comedy thriller film written, produced and directed by David Robert Mitchell follows a young man Sam, played by Andrew Garfield who barely makes a living and even got evicted from his apartment in Los Angeles. Later, he meets a young woman living in his building, and sets out on a quest to investigate her sudden disappearance, only to stumble upon an elusive and dangerous large-scale conspiracy.

Although the film did not appeal to many audiences and critics, Garfield’s performance was immensely praised. Garfield’s reaction to the shocking turn of events makes the movie both unbelievably amusing and still, buyable.

This is our compilation of some of the best, unforgettable works by Andrew Garfield. Comment below the best Andrew Garfield movie you have watched. For more such interesting and latest reads, stay tuned to Leverage Edu

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